Proposed Immigration Reform Bill Does Not Benefit Same-Sex Couples

The Senate's "Gang of Eight" has not made any proposed provisions which would allow same-sex couples to petition their foreign-born partner for legal status. While the Obama Administration has publically commented that it supports the inclusion same-sex couples as part of broader immigration reform measures, the president would not veto a bill just because same-sex couples were excluded.

According to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, the administration recognizes that the overall bill accomplishes what the president believes needs to be accomplished.

Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont commented that he plans to introduce an amendment to the gang of eight which would allow both US citizens and lawful permanent residents (US green card holders) the right to petition their same-sex partners for immigration status. However, many have expressed skepticism that such a measure could make it to the final version of the bill before it set for a Congressional vote. Two Republican Senators of the gang of eight, John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina have both stated that they would oppose any provisions relating to same-sex partners in the US immigration reform bill.

Speaking before US immigration lawyers and reform advocates, President Obama commented that he would support the gang of eight despite it having some issues.

"If the bill was presented on my desk today, I would sign it," said Janet Murguia, president of the National Council of La Raza, an immigrant advocacy group. "He looked at the advocates and said, ‘We're not going to get everything we want in this."

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