We want to thank Melanie Nathan, from O-blog-dee-o-blog-da, for letting us know she was with Shirley Tan yesterday as she testified in support of United American Families Act.
Filipino lesbian mother, Shirley Tan, had received a temporary reprieve and was scheduled to be deported and separated from her partner of 23 years, Jay Mercado, and their two children on April 22. She was saved at the last minute by a private bill introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein.
The Senate judiciary committee heard the testimony of Tan in support of the proposed Uniting American Families Act [UAFA].
WATCH VIDEO TAKEN AT THE HEARING:
ABS-CBN North America News Bureau explains: “Immigration agents raided last January, the home that Tan shared with her longtime partner Jay Mercado and their 12-year-old twins [pictured] in Pacifica, California. Tan, 43, and Mercado, 48, have been living as a couple for 23 years (they are registered domestic partners who wed in 2004). Although Mercado is an American citizen, she can not file a petition to grant Tan permanent resident status because US federal law only recognizes marriage between men and women.”
Tan struggled to tell her story before the Senate committee.
‘Before I knew it, I was handcuffed and taken away like a criminal. I was put into a van with two men in yellow jump suits and chains and searched like a criminal in a way I have only seen in movies,’ she told the panel.
One of her sons broke into tears he listened to his mother telling the panel how she was arrested, detained and only allowed to go home after a monitoring device was strapped on her ankle.
‘Since this thing happened to us,’ Tan told ABS-CBN’s Balitang America after the hearing, ‘the kids may have been scarred for life. It’s very painful to think that one of your parents, a parent you love, will be taken away from you.’