A bill that would give same-sex partners family status for legal resident applicants was introduced Tuesday in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill is supported by President Barack Obama, who mentioned the idea in his own immigration reform proposal. Some Republicans have warned that adding language about same-sex couples could fracture the already fragile bipartisan coalition that has formed in favor of immigration reform.
The Uniting American Families Act was introduced by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), who also introduced the same bill in the previous, 112th, Congress. It has 10 co-sponsors so far, all Democrats, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). More co-sponsors will likely be added. The previous version had 144 co-sponsors.
The bill would add "permanent partner" to the list of those who could qualify for legal residency as a family member. Under current law, there is no cap on the number of immigrant visas granted to direct family members – spouses and children. Permanent partners and adopted children of permanent partners would be added to that list of direct family members. more >>
President Barack Obama proposed giving gay partners of U.S. citizens the privilege of family member status for the purposes of immigration reform. Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) warned that including the divisive issue could split the fragile bipartisan coalition in favor of immigration reform. Sen. Harry Reid accused Republicans of just making excuses to not support the legislation. A spokesperson for Sen. Marco Rubio told The Christian Post that the inclusion of gay partners is an issue that senators will be discussing as the bill moves forward.
"Which is more important, LGBT or border security? Huh? I'll tell you what my priorities are," McCain said at a breakfast last week sponsored by Politico.
Graham echoed a similar concern. more >>
Evangelicals who have come together to support immigration reform have expressed concern over the White House's decision to include support for same-sex couples in their official immigration proposal.
While not mentioning the issue during his Tuesday speech demanding comprehensive immigration reform, President Barack Obama's proposal does include measures that pertain to same-sex couples.
The Rev. Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, told The Christian Post that he questioned the inclusion of another hot button issue in an already tense subject. more >>
President Barack Obama announced his support Tuesday for a bipartisan compromise on immigration reform unveiled Monday by the Senate's "gang of eight." If the gang of eight proposal fails, Obama added, he will submit his own legislation to Congress.
"Yesterday, a bipartisan group of senators announced their principles for comprehensive immigration reform, which are very much in line with the principles I've proposed and campaigned on for the last few years," Obama told the audience at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The three principles that immigration reform should include, Obama said, are border security, a path to citizenship for current undocumented immigrants, and making immigration easier for immigrants trained in science and technology. more >>
A bipartisan group of senators, known as the "gang of eight," announced Monday an immigration reform agreement. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), one of the gang of eight, held a conference call with supporters, including Christian leaders, thanking them for their effort, according to sources familiar with the call.
The gang of eight proposal has four main parts: a path to citizenship for current unauthorized immigrants contingent upon securing the borders, improving the legal immigration system with a focus on immigrants that help the economy, an employment verification system that will punish employers who hire unauthorized immigrants, and an improved temporary immigrant worker program.
In addition to Rubio, the gang of eight includes Republicans Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), and John McCain (Ariz.), and Democrats Michael Bennet (Colo.), Dick Durbin (Ill.), Robert Menendez (N.J.) and Chuck Schumer (N.Y.). more >>
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, whose name is also being touted as a 2016 presidential contender, has addressed the need for "comprehensive" immigration reform in an op-ed that appeared in Friday's Wall Street Journal.
Bush co-authored the piece with Goldwater Institute attorney Clint Bolick as part of a preview for their upcoming book, Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution. The duo's approach to immigration reform will most certainly run afoul to some conservative leaders who for years have fought any approach to immigration reform short of deporting the estimated 12 million illegal men, women and children in the U.S., and building 30-foot, electrified walls to prohibit border crossings.
First on their list is getting Congress to admit that immigration is not as much a law enforcement issue as it is a result of antiquated and outdated laws. "The nation has changed dramatically since the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, and that legislation has not held up well," write Bush and Bolick. "It has been patched over so many times that it is hopelessly complex and incoherent. We need to start from scratch." more >>