Obama to include gay couples in immigration reform

US President Barack Obama is expected to allow foreign gay partners of Americans to be eligible for a green card

Obama to include gay couples in immigration reform
29 January 2013

US President Barack Obama is expected to include gay couples in the proposal addressing immigration reform.

In plans revealed today by Buzzfeed, same-sex bi-national couples will be protected in future US government plan.

Currently LGBT American citizens have no way to confer citizenship on their partners, something that is sometimes difficult, but easier for straight couples.

Under current law, same-sex couples are not eligible for green cards opposite-sex couples can receive even if they are married because of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Foreign partners of same-sex couples have said they have found their green card applications denied – often forcing couples to separate or move abroad.

Senator Chuck Schumer has reportedly promised to attempt to add LGBT immigration reform to the Senate plan ‘later in the process,’ possibly through committee amendments.

Responding to the report, former Republican presidential nominee John McCain said including gay couples in the immigration reform bill is not of ‘paramount importance’.

Speaking on CBS Morning News, he said: ‘Well it’s something, frankly, of not paramount importance at this time. We’ll have to look at it, how to gage how the majority of Congress feels. That to me is a red flag that frankly we will address in time.’

The Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Immigration Equality, and National Center for Lesbian Rights issued a joint statement on calling for the change to the law.

The full statement reads: ‘We are fully committed to and deeply understand the need for this nation to adopt a humane and effective comprehensive immigration policy which places a premium value on justice, dignity, respect and opportunity.

‘Any legislation must include the ability of couples in same-sex relationships to sponsor their spouse or permanent-partner in the same way opposite-sex couples have long been able to under current immigration law.

‘We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with those striving for and dreaming of a nation that embraces all who come here seeking a better life.

‘We look forward to working with Congress, the White House and every community harmed by our broken immigration system to finally achieve the comprehensive reforms we all so desperately need.’

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