American Families United was incorporated as a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization in October 2006 to give a voice to those who sponsor nuclear family members through the legal immigration system.
In 2007, we conducted two national lobby days where our members, directors, and our lobbyist joined in Washington D.C. to speak directly with Congress members, Senators and legislative staff.
In spring 2007, US Citizens for United Families, of Houston, Texas, merged with American Families United.
During the comprehensive immigration reform debate in the summer of 2007, we worked closely with Senator's Clinton, Menendez, and Hagel to introduce legislation that would eliminate a quota system on nuclear families of permanent residents.
In the winter of 2007 we formed the Secure Check Alliance and partnered with Legal Immigrant Association to address security check delays that needlessly put the nation at risk and result in lengthy family separations. We who worked closely with Congresswoman Clarke on this issue and her efforts led to $20 million dollars into the 2008 federal budget to address theses delays. Hundreds of thousands of families have been helped already as a result of this legislative victory, although there is still more work to be done.
In 2008 we launched the Reform the Rebate campaign, and won a partial victory by for families who were unfairly excluded from the stimulus rebate. We lobbied successfully, in partnership with other organizations, to roll back this exclusion for active duty military families in a provision of the HEART Act. Unfortunately, Congress did not fully correct it's mistake for families of veterans and others who have done nothing wrong.
In 2009, we held our third national lobby day in February.
Our first legislative victory of the year followed shortly after with the inclusion of all families in the "Making Work Pay" tax credit created in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, thereby avoiding a repeat of the mistake in 2008.
Throughout the year, American Families United members were featured speakers in several cities in Congressman Luis Gutierrez's "United Families" tour.
In June, our legislative proposal to help stepchildren of US citizens was proposed by Senator Menendez and Congressman Honda when the Reuniting Families Act was reintroduced.
We lobbied successfully for new waiver provisions and improved stepchild protection provisions to be included in the CIR ASAP Act in December 2009; the elimination of quotas on spouses and children of permanent residents was also included, as were provisions to address name check delays.
In early 2010, we engaged US Senators around the country to ask that they include our reforms in the expected Senate comprehensive immigration reform bill. We also restructured and expanded our volunteer efforts, electing chapter presidents around the country. Improvements in waiver provisions and in stepchild provisions were included in the comprehensive immigration reform bill introduced by Senators Menendez and Leahy. This bill also carried forward the provision to eliminate quotas on spouses and children of permanent residents.
In 2011, we worked closely with Congressman Honda's office with the request that waiver and stepchild improvements be carried forward from the CIR ASAP act of 2010 to the reintroduced Reuniting Families Act (HR 1796). This bill also carried forward the provision to eliminate quotas on spouses and children of permanent residents, and introduced a new reforms to better protect surviving spouses of sponsoring citizens and residents, and maintain family members place in line if they move from one family category to another.