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A Valentine’s Day Message: Respect Citizens, 

Unite American Families

The most neglected constituency in the immigration debate applauds
Bipartisan bill to protect rights of US citizens

Washington: “This bipartisan bill is a sign of hope,” said Kim Anderson, President of American Families United, as the only national organization specifically representing the rights of US citizens endorsed H.R. 1036, introduced this Valentines Day, February 14, 2017. The proposed American Families United Act, sponsored by Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-Tx), Steve Pearce (R-NM), and Eric Swalwell (D-CA) recognizes the rights of US citizens who sponsor their spouses for legal immigration.

“Americans are divided over immigration reform. We all know the system is broken and must be comprehensively fixed, but we can’t seem to agree on exactly how to do it,” Anderson said. “Yet this legislation, sponsored by both Republicans and Democrats, indicates at least one bedrock American value which must be a cornerstone for any immigration reform: no American immigration system can be worth anything if it divides US citizens from their husbands and wives.”

“These US Representatives recognize that US citizens are the neglected constituency in immigration reform, facing a family choice between being outlawed or exiled,” Anderson pointed out. “The Census counts 4.1 million Americans who are married to foreign-born spouses. Our best estimate is that at least 300,000 of those have had some problem, have been caught by the fish hooks and bear traps that litter our immigration laws. Technical, even trivial violations – like missing a hearing – can have catastrophic consequences. The bureaucracy uses traffic court rules to impose life sentences.”

“We applaud the leadership shown by Congressmen O’Rourke, Pearce and Swalwell,” Anderson said. “American Families United looks forward to working with both Republicans and Democrats in Congress to protect the immigration law rights of US citizens.”

Sample stories of AFU members can be found here, all US citizens. (Edgar Falcon of Texas, Nick Martin of Alabama, and Margot Bruemmer, currently exiled in Mexico.)

An AFU petition went live yesterday, with more than 300 signatures in the first few hours.

Reforming I-601 / Hardship Waivers and Allowing Waivers for Permanent Bars

It is a fundamental principle of American values that the US government has no right to tell any citizen to choose between their spouse, the love of their life – and their country. Yet that is what current law does.

In many cases what triggers a banishment of three or ten years, even life, is a trivial or even wholly technical violation. It can be as inadvertent as being the passenger who nods when the driver is asked a question in a language not understood.

US citizens whose families face destruction, who literally must choose between their marriages and obligations as parents, or their rights as Americans to live in the United States, should get their opportunity to ask an immigration judge to consider the hardship imposed on them – as US citizens – by the law.

The American Families United Act, introduced by Congressman Beto O'Rourke (D-TX) and Congressman Steve Pearce (R-NM) restores the US citizen's right to fairness and due process that existed prior to 1996.

The American Families United Act would standardize the I-601 waiver process to apply to all administrative and technical bars, with fair standards for immigration judges to evaluate I-601 waiver applications.


General email:


Randall Emery, President


American Families United is a 501(c)4 non-profit corporation

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