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LGBTQ: Small Steps, Big Impact – Napolitano’s Memo

More than a year ago, some 50 members of Congress wrote to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano asking her to put in writing what she had told advocates: LGTBQ relationships will be honored when the federal government’s deportation unit, ICE, makes decisions on whether to deport someone or exercise prosecutorial discretion.  Secretary Napolitano responded (finally!) last week 9/27/12 by announcing that she directed ICE to disseminate guidance to the field clarifying that “family relationships” includes long-term, same-sex partners for the purposes of prosecutorial discretion.  It isn’t a moon-walk and it isn’t the right to petition for same-sex partners.  But it is a small first step that will have the rather big impact of preventing family separation.  Applause.