The advocacy organization, Restore Fairness, profiled Filipina Shirley Tan and her experience as a homosexual woman, mother, and potential deportee. According to the Restore Fairness site, Tan came to the United States from the Philippines over two decades ago, and built a life with her partner Jay Mercado, giving birth to twin boys. Now, Tan fights to stay in the United States. Supporters say she’s made helpless by laws that don’t allow gay and lesbian couples to sponsor their partners. Shirley and Jay met in the US 23 years ago when Shirley was visiting from the Philippines. The couple entered into a domestic partnership under California law and as per family unification provisions in immigration law, American citizens are able to petition for residency for their spouses. But this does not apply to same-sex partners in the United States, so although Jay Mercado is an American citizen, she is unable to sponsor Shirley, who filed for a political asylum in 1995. Last year, Shirley was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials and released with an electronic monitor. She is now awaiting deportation to the Philippines. Advocates for Shirley say the only way for her to stay in the United States with her family is if gay and lesbian couples are able to sponsor their partners.

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