Barack Obama | Immigration | News

Obama Said to Include Gays in Immigration Reform Plans

Immigration reform takes center stage and with it comes the question of whether or not binational same-sex couples will be included in the legislation.

ObamaAccording to Buzzfeed's Chris Geidner, they will be included as part of Obama's proposal, which he's unveiling today:

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.

Legislation from Congress was unveiled on Monday, and gay couples were not included as part of it, the SF Chronicle reports:

Heather Cronk, managing director of GetEqual, a national gay rights group in Berkeley, said Catholic bishops have been lobbying Congress to omit same-sex couples from an immigration bill, and she worried that such couples might become a bargaining chip as legislation is written.

"It's my understanding that there is no explicit mention ... in order to get Republican sign-on on the issue," Cronk said. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops did not respond to a request for comment.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., House author of the Uniting American Families Act, which would extend to committed gay and lesbian couples the same immigration privileges available to heterosexual married couples, said Monday that he is not worried.

"We made it quite clear that gays and lesbians are not second-class people," Nadler said, "and if we have general immigration reform they are going to be included, period."

On last night's show, Rachel Maddow wondered if the House GOP would sabotage a bipartisan immigration bill.

Allow her to catch you up on the issue, AFTER THE JUMP...


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  1. Er, there should be NO immigration reform. Illegal means illegal. Gay or straight doesn't change the status. People who have entered America without the requisite documents are like people who enter your home without your permission.

    Besides, without ENDA, being gay means you can be discriminated against in federal employment contracts.

    Posted by: stephen lucas | Jan 29, 2013 7:45:48 AM

  2. Stephen: You are an idiot! Gays who are getting married to someone from another country cannot presently have their husband or wife sponsored like every straight person. That is not illegal immigration you dope. That is the same right straight people have!!

    Posted by: Kent Peterson | Jan 29, 2013 8:07:55 AM

  3. Wow! So maybe we won't have to move to Singapore after all! I was just starting to like the idea of daily 90 degree temps considering this frigid Massachusetts winter...

    Posted by: kpo5 | Jan 29, 2013 8:12:40 AM

  4. Ignore the halfwit named Stephen Lucas above: immigration reform for bi-national gay couples is a CRUCIAL aspect of the repeal of DOMA and the attaiment of LGBT equality under the law.

    If the law permits heterosexual imiigration rights then it must be do likewise for us.

    Posted by: ryansson | Jan 29, 2013 8:32:53 AM

  5. Why do people respond to trolls?

    Posted by: Paul R | Jan 29, 2013 8:34:22 AM

  6. Yes, WHY do people still respond to Jason (Stephen Lucas)? A brain transplant would be required before he gets a clue. About anything...

    Posted by: DeeperStill | Jan 29, 2013 9:24:46 AM

  7. Very good.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Jan 29, 2013 9:40:27 AM

  8. Skip to about 6 min in & avoid having to watch the craziness of Jan Brewer...

    All the media yesterday was saying 'until the borders are secured' amounted to a Poison Pill. Maddow, is correct though. If they can kill reform by utilizing this provision, it'll never happen.

    Posted by: Pete N SFO | Jan 29, 2013 9:42:33 AM

  9. Why not just cut to the chase:

    The U.S. shouldn't have any immigration restriction s or control...just open the friggin doors wide and let a flood of mostly economic immigrants and few genuine refugees come on in. Why is this expected of only 'White' countries like western Europe, North America [U.S./Canada], Australia/N.Z.? How come it's OK for Asian countries to be 99% homogeneous and racist to their cores, for M.E. and African countries to be what they are, for Mexico{!} to have very restrictive immigration laws....but the U.S. and European countries are 'Racist' when they try to sensibly control immigration, especially in a bad economy?


    And yes Pete in S.F.,

    The borders SHOULD be secured. This is not unreasonable. We have a case here in my city where an Irish woman in the country illegally for something like 12-15 years [!] ... she over-stayed her tourist visa... has been charged with beating a young child under her care as a nanny to death. The woman has a rap sheet with numerous assault and domestic abuse charges [one of them is she beat up her female 'room-mate'; maybe she's lesbian]. How the F did she manage to live, work, and prosper while being here illegally for so long? And literally a week doesn't go by here without some story of an illegal 'immigrant' drunk/careless driving and killing so one, while of course having no insurance or often even license.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jan 29, 2013 10:43:50 AM

  10. What a great message this sends to the rest of the world: ignore our immigration laws. Come here ILLEGALLY, and eventually you'll be permitted to stay.

    Oh, and for all of you who waited in line patiently and followed the rules? Screw you, suckahs!!!!!!

    Posted by: sean | Jan 29, 2013 11:35:09 AM

  11. I don't know that illegal aliens should be able to legalize just by marrying Americans. However, if opposite-sex couples can do so then of course same-sex couples must be allowed to do so.

    Posted by: DB | Jan 29, 2013 1:30:41 PM

  12. I think we need to stand up and oppose any attempt at an amnesty. All 11 million illegal aliens must be deported immediately without exception.

    Posted by: DB | Jan 29, 2013 1:31:50 PM

  13. People should just come to this page if they want to get rid of the stereotype that all gays are nice, happy, and caring people. All people advocating for deportation truly are heinous people. I see disgust when I read this page.

    Posted by: Matthew Mollinedo | Jan 29, 2013 2:51:48 PM

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