Main | Tuesday, January 29, 2013

President Obama To Include LGBT Couples In Immigration Reform Plan

Today President Obama will introduce his immigration reform plan and LGBT couples are expected to be included. However, gay immigration is not addressed in the Senate plan. Chris Geidner reports at Buzzfeed:
A Democratic source said: "Same-sex couples will be part of his proposal." A second source confirmed that, unlike the Senate framework released Monday, same-sex bi-national couples — those with one American and one foreign partner — will be included in the White House principles.

The decision by Obama seeks to remedy what advocates for same-sex couples view as one of the most searing inequalities under the existing federal limit on marriage to one man and one woman: LGBT American citizens simply have no way to confer citizenship on their romantic partners, something that is automatic — if not always simple — for straight couples.

Under current law, such same-sex couples, even when married under state law, are not eligible for the green cards that opposite-sex couples can receive. Foreign partners of same-sex couples have in the past found their green card applications denied — often forcing couples to separate or move abroad.
Sen. Chuck Schumer has reportedly promised to attempt to add LGBT immigration reform to the Senate plan "later in the process," possibly through committee amendments. Geidner notes that "there are no guarantees."

UPDATE: This morning Sen. John McCain said that including LGBT couples in the immigration reform bill is "not of paramount importance." Clip via Think Progress.

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