"This is great. The rights of US citizens in immigration reform could be the key that turns the lock", said Randall Emery, founder and President of American Families United. "We applaud Congressmen Beto O’Rourke and Steve Pearce because they are standing up for the rights of US citizens in immigration reform legislation. That’s the kind of leadership we need on these issues. This bill is a bipartisan ray of hope lighting the way forward."
HR 3431, The American Families United Act
, simply provides an opportunity for the US citizen spouse of a person who has an obstacle created by what are often trivial or merely technical violations of US immigration law, to go before an immigration judge or officer and make their case that the penalty for the US citizen and their family is too harsh. "This legislation is carefully crafted to provide a balance," notes former House immigration chair and AFU legislative strategist Bruce Morrison. "We are not asking for immigration violations to be ignored, and we do not say that everyone who commits a violation should be admitted to the United States. But we are saying that the rights of US citizen spouses should be given substantial weight, and that’s what this overdue reform provides."
Edgar Falcon, an AFU member from El Paso, Texas who was recently married literally on the US-Mexico border, said: "I want to thank Congressman Pearce, who has shown real courage in supporting this bipartisan bill, and especially my Congressman Beto O’Rourke, who promised when he came to my wedding on the Paso del Norte International Bridge that he would introduce this bill and work tirelessly to get it enacted into law. For American families like mine, with my beloved wife Maricruz in exile, this is encouraging. Congress is not all partisan bickering. They can solve America’s problems, and this is how to solve one of them."