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Take Action: Senators Propose Bipartisan Immigration Reform, Minus Gay Couples


When Republican strategist Karl Rove says the proposal made today by four Democratic and four Republican Senators made today is a “huge step forward” and Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas calls the plan “surprisingly good”—something’s up. However, as a slew of LGBT groups pointed out, the proposed immigration reform leaves out bi-national couples prohibited from getting green cards for their foreign-born spouses because of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. The Washington Blade took an extensive look at what President Obama might propose on Tuesday:

There are signs that President Obama will include relief for bi-national same-sex couples as part of his proposals for comprehensive immigration reform, but whether the Senate will agree to such language as part of bipartisan compromise legislation remains an open question.

Shin Inouye, a White House spokesperson, declined to preview whether Obama will include a provision for bi-national same-sex couples as part of his highly anticipated proposal for immigration reform, but maintained the president is committed to bi-national same-sex couples.

“The president has made it clear on a number of occasions that comprehensive immigration reform is a key priority, including in major speeches over the last four years,” Inouye said. “While I’m not going to preview the president’s proposal, he has long believed that Americans with same-sex partners from other countries should not be faced with the painful choice between staying with the person they love or staying in the country they love, and he welcomes changes that would help keep families together.”

Although not a commitment, that response is the strongest on-the-record statement yet from a White House official on Obama’s support for bi-national couples and whether he’ll seek language to include them as part of his immigration reform plan.

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