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H.R. 1537 (112th): Uniting American Families Act of 2011


The text of the bill below is as of Apr 14, 2011 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.


I

112th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1537

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

April 14, 2011

(for himself, Ms. Zoe Lofgren of California, Mr. Frank of Massachusetts, Ms. Baldwin, Mr. Polis, Mr. Cicilline, Mr. Conyers, Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Hoyer, Mr. Clyburn, Mr. Honda, Mr. Gutierrez, Mr. Ackerman, Ms. Bass of California, Mr. Becerra, Ms. Berkley, Mr. Berman, Mr. Bishop of New York, Mr. Blumenauer, Mr. Brady of Pennsylvania, Mrs. Capps, Mr. Capuano, Mr. Carson of Indiana, Ms. Castor of Florida, Ms. Chu, Mr. Clay, Ms. Clarke of New York, Mr. Connolly of Virginia, Mr. Crowley, Mrs. Davis of California, Mr. DeFazio, Ms. DeGette, Ms. DeLauro, Mr. Deutch, Mr. Doyle, Mr. Ellison, Mr. Engel, Ms. Eshoo, Mr. Farr, Mr. Filner, Mr. Grijalva, Mr. Hastings of Florida, Mr. Heinrich, Mr. Himes, Mr. Hinchey, Ms. Hirono, Mr. Holt, Mr. Inslee, Mr. Israel, Mr. Jackson of Illinois, Ms. Jackson Lee of Texas, Mr. Johnson of Georgia, Mr. Kucinich, Mr. Langevin, Mr. Larsen of Washington, Ms. Lee of California, Mr. Lewis of Georgia, Mrs. Lowey, Mrs. Maloney, Ms. Matsui, Ms. McCollum, Mr. McDermott, Mr. McGovern, Mr. Meeks, Mr. George Miller of California, Ms. Moore, Mr. Moran, Mrs. Napolitano, Ms. Norton, Mr. Olver, Mr. Pascrell, Mr. Pallone, Mr. Pastor of Arizona, Ms. Pingree of Maine, Mr. Price of North Carolina, Mr. Quigley, Mr. Rangel, Ms. Richardson, Mr. Rothman of New Jersey, Ms. Roybal-Allard, Mr. Rush, Ms. Linda T. Sánchez of California, Ms. Schakowsky, Mr. Schiff, Mr. Serrano, Mr. Sires, Mr. Smith of Washington, Ms. Speier, Mr. Stark, Ms. Sutton, Mr. Towns, Ms. Tsongas, Ms. Wasserman Schultz, Ms. Waters, Mr. Waxman, Mr. Weiner, Mr. Welch, Ms. Woolsey, Mr. Wu, Mr. Tonko, and Mr. Courtney) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

A BILL

To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to promote family unity, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title; amendments to Immigration and Nationality Act

(a)

Short Title

This Act may be cited as the Uniting American Families Act of 2011.

(b)

Amendments to Immigration and Nationality Act

Except as otherwise specifically provided, whenever in this Act an amendment or repeal is expressed as the amendment or repeal of a section or other provision, the reference shall be considered to be made to that section or provision in the Immigration and Nationality Act.

2.

Definitions of permanent partner and permanent partnership

Section 101(a) (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (15)(K)(ii), by inserting or permanent partnership after marriage; and

(2)

by adding at the end the following:

(52)

The term permanent partner means an individual 18 years of age or older who—

(A)

is in a committed, intimate relationship with another individual 18 years of age or older in which both parties intend a lifelong commitment;

(B)

is financially interdependent with that other individual;

(C)

is not married to or in a permanent partnership with anyone other than that other individual;

(D)

is unable to contract with that other individual a marriage cognizable under this Act; and

(E)

is not a first, second, or third degree blood relation of that other individual.

(53)

The term permanent partnership means the relationship that exists between two permanent partners.

(54)

The term alien permanent partner means the individual in a permanent partnership who is being sponsored for a visa

.

3.

Definition of child

(a)

Titles I and II

Section 101(b)(1) (8 U.S.C. 1101(b)(1)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(H)
(i)

a biological child of an alien permanent partner if the child was under the age of 18 at the time the permanent partnership was formed; or

(ii)

a child adopted by an alien permanent partner while under the age of 16 years if the child has been in the legal custody of, and has resided with, such adoptive parent for at least 2 years and if the child was under the age of 18 at the time the permanent partnership was formed.

.

(b)

Title III

Section 101(c) (8 U.S.C. 1101(c)) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (1), by inserting or as described in subsection (b)(1)(H) after The term child means an unmarried person under twenty-one years of age; and

(2)

in paragraph (2), by inserting or a deceased permanent partner of the deceased parent, father, or mother, after deceased parent, father, and mother.

4.

Worldwide level of immigration

Section 201(b)(2)(A)(i) (8 U.S.C. 1151(b)(2)(A)(i)) is amended—

(1)

by inserting permanent partners, after spouses,;

(2)

by inserting or permanent partner after spouse each place it appears;

(3)

by inserting (or, in the case of a permanent partnership, whose permanent partnership was not terminated) after was not legally separated from the citizen; and

(4)

by striking remarries. and inserting remarries or enters a permanent partnership with another person..

5.

Numerical limitations on individual foreign states

(a)

Per country levels

Section 202(a)(4) (8 U.S.C. 1152(a)(4)) is amended—

(1)

in the heading, by inserting , permanent partners, after spouses;

(2)

in the heading of subparagraph (A), by inserting , permanent partners, after spouses; and

(3)

in the heading of subparagraph (C), by striking and daughters inserting without permanent partners and unmarried daughters without permanent partners.

(b)

Rules for chargeability

Section 202(b)(2) (8 U.S.C. 1152(b)(2)) is amended—

(1)

by inserting or permanent partner after spouse each place it appears; and

(2)

by inserting or permanent partners after husband and wife.

6.

Allocation of immigrant visas

(a)

Preference allocation for family members of permanent resident aliens

Section 203(a)(2) (8 U.S.C. 1153(a)(2)) is amended—

(1)

in the heading—

(A)

by striking and after spouses and inserting , permanent partners,; and

(B)

by inserting without permanent partners after sons and after daughters;

(2)

in subparagraph (A), by inserting , permanent partners, after spouses; and

(3)

in subparagraph (B), by inserting without permanent partners after sons and after daughters.

(b)

Preference allocation for sons and daughters of citizens

Section 203(a)(3) (8 U.S.C. 1153(a)(3)) is amended—

(1)

in the heading, by inserting and daughters and sons with permanent partners after daughters; and

(2)

by inserting , or daughters or sons with permanent partners, after daughters.

(c)

Employment creation

Section 203(b)(5)(A)(ii) (8 U.S.C. 1153(b)(5)(A)(ii)) is amended by inserting permanent partner, after spouse,.

(d)

Treatment of family members

Section 203(d) (8 U.S.C. 1153(d)) is amended—

(1)

by inserting , permanent partner, after spouse each place it appears; and

(2)

by striking or (E) and inserting (E), or (H).

7.

Procedure for granting immigrant status

(a)

Classification petitions

Section 204(a)(1) (8 U.S.C. 1154(a)(1)) is amended—

(1)

in subparagraph (A)(ii), by inserting or permanent partner after spouse;

(2)

in subparagraph (A)(iii)—

(A)

by inserting or permanent partner after spouse each place it appears; and

(B)

in subclause (I), by inserting or permanent partnership after marriage each place it appears;

(3)

in subparagraph (A)(v)(I), by inserting permanent partner, after is the spouse,;

(4)

in subparagraph (A)(vi)—

(A)

by inserting or termination of the permanent partnership after divorce; and

(B)

by inserting , permanent partner, after spouse; and

(5)

in subparagraph (B)—

(A)

by inserting or permanent partner after spouse each place it appears;

(B)

by inserting or permanent partnership after marriage in clause (ii)(I)(aa) and the first place it appears in clause (ii)(I)(bb); and

(C)

in clause (ii)(II)(aa)(CC)(bbb), by inserting (or the termination of the permanent partnership) after termination of the marriage.

(b)

Immigration fraud prevention

Section 204(c) (8 U.S.C. 1154(c)) is amended—

(1)

by inserting or permanent partner after spouse each place it appears; and

(2)

by inserting or permanent partnership after marriage each place it appears.

(c)

Restrictions on petitions based on marriages entered while in exclusion or deportation proceedings

Section 204(g) (8 U.S.C. 1154(g)) is amended by inserting or permanent partnership after marriage each place it appears.

(d)

Survival of rights To petition

Section 204(h) (8 U.S.C. 1154(h)) is amended—

(1)

by inserting or permanent partnership after marriage each place it appears; and

(2)

by inserting or formation of a new permanent partnership after Remarriage.

8.

Annual admission of refugees and admission of emergency situation refugees

Section 207(c) (8 U.S.C. 1157(c) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (2)—

(A)

by inserting or permanent partner after spouse each place it appears;

(B)

by inserting or permanent partner’s after spouse’s; and

(C)

in subparagraph (A)—

(i)

by striking or after (D),; and

(ii)

by inserting , or (H) after (E); and

(2)

in paragraph (4), by inserting or permanent partner after spouse..

9.

Asylum

Section 208(b)(3) (8 U.S.C. 1158(b)(3)) is amended—

(1)

in the paragraph heading, by inserting or permanent partner after spouse;

(2)

in subparagraph (A)—

(A)

by inserting or permanent partner after spouse;

(B)

by striking or after (D),; and

(C)

by inserting , or (H) after (E).

10.

Adjustment of status of refugees

Section 209(b)(3) (8 U.S.C. 1159(b)(3)) is amended by inserting or permanent partner after spouse.

11.

Inadmissible aliens

(a)

Classes of aliens ineligible for visas or admission

Section 212(a) (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (3)(D)(iv), by inserting permanent partner, after spouse,;

(2)

in paragraph (4)(C)(i)(I), by inserting , permanent partner, after spouse;

(3)

in paragraph (6)(E)(ii), by inserting permanent partner, after spouse,; and

(4)

in paragraph (9)(B)(v), by inserting , permanent partner, after spouse.

(b)

Waivers

Section 212(d) (8 U.S.C. 1182(d)) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (11), by inserting permanent partner, after spouse,; and

(2)

in paragraph (12), by inserting , permanent partner, after spouse.

(c)

Waivers of inadmissibility on health-Related grounds

Section 212(g)(1)(A) (8 U.S.C. 1182(g)(1)(A)) is amended by inserting or permanent partner after spouse.

(d)

Waivers of inadmissibility on criminal and related grounds

Section 212(h)(1)(B) (8 U.S.C. 1182(h)(1)(B)) is amended by inserting permanent partner, after spouse,.

(e)

Waiver of inadmissibility for misrepresentation

Section 212(i)(1) (8 U.S.C. 1182(i)(1)) is amended by inserting permanent partner, after spouse,.

12.

Nonimmigrant status for permanent partners awaiting the availability of an immigrant visa

Section 214 (8 U.S.C. 1184) is amended—

(1)

in subsection (e)(2), by inserting or permanent partner after spouse; and

(2)

in subsection (r)—

(A)

in paragraph (1), by inserting or permanent partner after spouse; and

(B)

by inserting or permanent partnership after marriage each place it appears.

13.

Derivative status for permanent partners of nonimmigrant visa holders

Section 101(a)(15) (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)) is amended—

(1)

in subparagraph (A)—

(A)

in clause (i), by inserting , which shall include permanent partners after immediate family;

(B)

in clause (ii), by inserting , which shall include permanent partners after immediate families; and

(C)

in clause (iii), by inserting , which shall include permanent partners, after immediate families,;

(2)

in subparagraph (E), by inserting or permanent partner after spouse;

(3)

in subparagraph (F)(ii), by inserting or permanent partner after spouse;

(4)

in subparagraph (G)(i), by inserting , which shall include his or her permanent partner after members of his or their immediate family;

(5)

in subparagraph (G)(ii), by inserting , which shall include permanent partners, after the members of their immediate families;

(6)

in subparagraph (G)(iii), by inserting , which shall include his permanent partner, after the members of his immediate family;

(7)

in subparagraph (G)(iv), by inserting , which shall include permanent partners after the members of their immediate families;

(8)

in subparagraph (G)(v), by inserting , which shall include permanent partners after the members of the immediate families;

(9)

in subparagraph (H), by inserting or permanent partner after spouse;

(10)

in subparagraph (I), by inserting or permanent partner after spouse;

(11)

in subparagraph (J), by inserting or permanent partner after spouse;

(12)

in subparagraph (L), by inserting or permanent partner after spouse;

(13)

in subparagraph (M)(ii), by inserting or permanent partner after spouse;

(14)

in subparagraph (O)(iii), by inserting or permanent partner after spouse;

(15)

in subparagraph (P)(iv), by inserting or permanent partner after spouse;

(16)

in subparagraph (Q)(ii)(II), by inserting or permanent partner after spouse;

(17)

in subparagraph (R), by inserting or permanent partner after spouse;

(18)

in subparagraph (S), by inserting or permanent partner after spouse;

(19)

in subparagraph (T)(ii)(I), by inserting or permanent partner after spouse;

(20)

in subparagraph (T)(ii)(II), by inserting or permanent partner after spouse;

(21)

in subparagraph (U)(ii)(I), by inserting or permanent partner after spouse;

(22)

in subparagraph (U)(ii)(II), by inserting or permanent partner after spouse; and

(23)

in subparagraph (V), by inserting permanent partner or after beneficiary (including a.

14.

Conditional permanent resident status for certain alien spouses, permanent partners, and sons and daughters

(a)

Section heading

(1)

In general

The heading for section 216 (8 U.S.C. 1186a) is amended by inserting and permanent partners after spouses.

(2)

Clerical amendment

The table of contents is amended by amending the item relating to section 216 to read as follows:

Sec. 216. Conditional permanent resident status for certain alien spouses and permanent partners and sons and daughters.

.

(b)

In general

Section 216(a) (8 U.S.C. 1186a(a)) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (1), by inserting or permanent partner after spouse;

(2)

in paragraph (2)(A), by inserting or permanent partner after spouse;

(3)

in paragraph (2)(B), by inserting permanent partner, after spouse,; and

(4)

in paragraph (2)(C), by inserting permanent partner, after spouse,.

(c)

Termination of status if finding that qualifying marriage improper

Section 216(b) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1186a(b)) is amended—

(1)

in the heading, by inserting or permanent partnership after marriage;

(2)

in paragraph (1)(A), by inserting or permanent partnership after marriage; and

(3)

in paragraph (1)(A)(ii)—

(A)

by inserting or has ceased to satisfy the criteria for being considered a permanent partnership under this Act, after terminated,; and

(B)

by inserting or permanent partner after spouse.

(d)

Requirements of timely petition and interview for removal of condition

Section 216(c) (8 U.S.C. 1186a(c)) is amended—

(1)

in paragraphs (1), (2)(A)(ii), (3)(A)(ii), (3)(C), (4)(B), and (4)(C), by inserting or permanent partner after spouse each place it appears; and

(2)

in paragraph (3)(A), in the matter following clause (ii), and in paragraph (3)(D), (4)(B), and (4)(C), by inserting or permanent partnership after marriage each place it appears.

(e)

Contents of petition

Section 216(d)(1) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1186a(d)(1)) is amended—

(1)

in the heading of subparagraph (A), by inserting or permanent partnership after marriage;

(2)

in subparagraph (A)(i), by inserting or permanent partnership after marriage;

(3)

in subparagraph (A)(i)(I), by inserting before the comma at the end , or is a permanent partnership recognized under this Act;

(4)

in subparagraph (A)(i)(II)—

(A)

by inserting or has not ceased to satisfy the criteria for being considered a permanent partnership under this Act, after terminated,; and

(B)

by inserting or permanent partner after spouse;

(5)

in subparagraph (A)(ii), by inserting or permanent partner after spouse; and

(6)

in subparagraph (B)(i)—

(A)

by inserting or permanent partnership after marriage; and

(B)

by inserting or permanent partner after spouse.

(f)

Definitions

Section 216(g) (8 U.S.C. 1186a(g)) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (1)—

(A)

by inserting or permanent partner after spouse each place it appears; and

(B)

by inserting or permanent partnership after marriage each place it appears;

(2)

in paragraph (2), by inserting or permanent partnership after marriage;

(3)

in paragraph (3), by inserting or permanent partnership after marriage; and

(4)

in paragraph (4)—

(A)

by inserting or permanent partner after spouse each place it appears; and

(B)

by inserting or permanent partnership after marriage.

15.

Conditional permanent resident status for certain alien entrepreneurs, spouses, permanent partners, and children

(a)

Section heading

(1)

In general

The heading for section 216A (8 U.S.C. 1186b) is amended by inserting or permanent partners after spouses.

(2)

Clerical amendment

The table of contents is amended by amending the item relating to section 216A to read as follows:

Sec. 216A. Conditional permanent resident status for certain alien entrepreneurs, spouses or permanent partners, and children.

.

(b)

In general

Section 216A(a) (8 U.S.C. 1186b(a)) is amended, in paragraphs (1), (2)(A), (2)(B), and (2)(C), by inserting or permanent partner after spouse each place it appears.

(c)

Termination of status if finding that qualifying entrepreneurship improper

Section 216A(b)(1) (8 U.S.C. 1186b(b)(1)) is amended by inserting or permanent partner after spouse in the matter following subparagraph (C).

(d)

Requirements of timely petition and interview for removal of condition

Section 216A(c) (8 U.S.C. 1186b(c)) is amended, in paragraphs (1), (2)(A)(ii), and (3)(C), by inserting or permanent partner after spouse.

(e)

Definitions

Section 216A(f)(2) (8 U.S.C. 1186b(f)(2)) is amended by inserting or permanent partner after spouse each place it appears.

16.

Deportable aliens

Section 237(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1227(a)) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (1)(D)(i), by inserting or permanent partners after spouses each place it appears;

(2)

in paragraphs (1)(E)(ii), (1)(E)(iii), and (1)(H)(i)(I), by inserting or permanent partner after spouse;

(3)

by adding at the end of paragraph (1) the following new subparagraph:

(I)

Permanent Partnership fraud

An alien shall be considered to be deportable as having procured a visa or other documentation by fraud (within the meaning of section 212(a)(6)(C)(i)) and to be in the United States in violation of this Act (within the meaning of subparagraph (B)) if—

(i)

the alien obtains any admission to the United States with an immigrant visa or other documentation procured on the basis of a permanent partnership entered into less than 2 years prior to such admission and which, within 2 years subsequent to such admission, is terminated because the criteria for permanent partnership are no longer fulfilled, unless the alien establishes to the satisfaction of the Secretary of Homeland Security that such permanent partnership was not contracted for the purpose of evading any provisions of the immigration laws; or

(ii)

it appears to the satisfaction of the Secretary of Homeland Security that the alien has failed or refused to fulfill the alien’s permanent partnership which in the opinion of the Secretary of Homeland Security was made for the purpose of procuring the alien’s admission as an immigrant.

; and

(4)

in paragraphs (2)(E)(i) and (3)(C)(ii), by inserting or permanent partner after spouse each place it appears.

17.

Removal proceedings

Section 240 (8 U.S.C. 1229a) is amended—

(1)

in the heading of subsection (c)(7)(C)(iv), by inserting permanent partners, after spouses,; and

(2)

in subsection (e)(1), by inserting or permanent partner after spouse.

18.

Cancellation of removal; adjustment of status

Section 240A(b) (8 U.S.C. 1229b(b)) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (1)(D), by inserting or permanent partner after spouse;

(2)

in the heading for paragraph (2), by inserting , permanent partner, after spouse; and

(3)

in paragraph (2)(A), by inserting , permanent partner, after spouse each place it appears.

19.

Adjustment of status of nonimmigrant to that of person admitted for permanent residence

(a)

Prohibition on adjustment of status

Section 245(d) (8 U.S.C. 1255(d)) is amended by inserting or permanent partnership after marriage.

(b)

Avoiding immigration fraud

Section 245(e) (8 U.S.C. 1255(e)) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (1), by inserting or permanent partnership after marriage; and

(2)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(4)

Paragraph (1) and section 204(g) shall not apply with respect to a permanent partnership if the alien establishes by clear and convincing evidence to the satisfaction of the Secretary of Homeland Security that the permanent partnership was entered into in good faith and in accordance with section 101(a)(52) and the permanent partnership was not entered into for the purpose of procuring the alien’s admission as an immigrant and no fee or other consideration was given (other than a fee or other consideration to an attorney for assistance in preparation of a lawful petition) for the filing of a petition under section 204(a) or 214(d) with respect to the alien permanent partner. In accordance with regulations, there shall be only one level of administrative appellate review for each alien under the previous sentence.

.

(c)

Adjustment of status for certain aliens paying fee

Section 245(i)(1) (8 U.S.C. 1255(i)(1)) is amended by inserting or permanent partner after spouse each place it appears.

(d)

Adjustment of status for certain alien informants

Section 245(j) (8 U.S.C. 1255(j)) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (1)—

(A)

by inserting or permanent partner after spouse; and

(B)

by inserting sons and daughters with and without permanent partners, after daughters,; and

(2)

in paragraph (2)—

(A)

by inserting or permanent partner after spouse; and

(B)

by inserting sons and daughters with and without permanent partners, after daughters,.

(e)

Trafficking

Section 245(l)(1) is amended by inserting permanent partner, after spouse,.

20.

Application of criminal penalties for misrepresentation and concealment of facts regarding permanent partnerships

Section 275(c) (8 U.S.C. 1325(c)) is amended to read as follows:

(c)

Any individual who knowingly enters into a marriage or permanent partnership for the purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws shall be imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or fined not more than $250,000, or both.

.

21.

Requirements as to residence, good moral character, attachment to the principles of the Constitution

Section 316(b) (8 U.S.C. 1427(b)) is amended by inserting or permanent partner after spouse.

22.

Naturalization for permanent partners of citizens

Section 319 (8 U.S.C. 1430) is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a), by inserting or permanent partner after spouse each place it appears;

(2)

in subsection (a), by inserting or permanent partnership after marital union;

(3)

in subsection (b)(1), by inserting or permanent partner after spouse;

(4)

in subsection (b)(3), by inserting or permanent partner after spouse;

(5)

in subsection (d)—

(A)

by inserting or permanent partner after spouse each place it appears; and

(B)

by inserting or permanent partnership after marital union;

(6)

in subsection (e)(1)—

(A)

by inserting or permanent partner after spouse; and

(B)

by inserting or permanent partnership after marital union; and

(7)

in subsection (e)(2), by inserting or permanent partner after spouse.

23.

Application of family unity provisions to permanent partners of certain LIFE Act beneficiaries

Section 1504 of the LIFE Act (division B of the Miscellaneous Appropriations Act, 2001, as enacted into law by section 1(a)(4) of Public Law 106–554) is amended—

(1)

in the heading, by inserting , permanent partners, after spouses;

(2)

in subsection (a), by inserting , permanent partner, after spouse; and

(3)

in each of subsections (b) and (c)—

(A)

in the subsection headings, by inserting , permanent partners, after spouses; and

(B)

by inserting , permanent partner, after spouse each place it appears.

24.

Application to Cuban Adjustment Act

(a)

In general

The first section of Public Law 89–732 (November 2, 1966; 8 U.S.C. 1255 note) is amended—

(1)

in the next to last sentence, by inserting , permanent partner, after spouse the first two places it appears; and

(2)

in the last sentence, by inserting , permanent partners, after spouses.

(b)

Conforming amendments

(1)

Immigration and Nationality Act

Section 101(a)(51)(D) (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(51)(D)) is amended by striking or spouse and inserting , spouse, or permanent partner.

(2)

Violence Against Women Act

Section 1506(c)(2)(A)(i)(IV) of the Violence Against Women Act of 2000 (8 U.S.C. 1229a note; division B of Public Law 106–386) is amended by striking or spouse and inserting , spouse, or permanent partner.