Rachel Maddow is a very clever Ph.D. She notes that President Obama’s proposal for immigration reform announced on Tuesday, Jan. 29, is very similar to plans he’s talked about for years. However, there is one incredibly significant sentence not discussed by Rachel, nor mentioned explicitly in Obama’s speech that could change the lives of many binational couples: “[The proposal] also treats same-sex families as families by giving U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents the ability to seek a visa on the basis of a permanent relationship with a same-sex partner.”
But a proposal is not a done deal: nothing can be done without legislation from Congress. In this story on his reaction to the proposal, the Washington Blade’s Chris Johnson reports that might be difficult:
A framework unveiled on Monday by a bipartisan “Gang of Eight” U.S. Senators has similar language—although it conditions offering a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented workers to enhancing border security—but has no mention of bi-national same-sex couples.
An aide for Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., a leading Democrat involved in the talks, told the Washington Blade that language for gay couples “is among the many unresolved aspects of the negotiations, which is why it isn’t reflected either way in the outline.” But in an interview with CBS This Morning, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said the issue isn’t “of paramount importance” and said its inclusion as part of the deal would be a “red flag” for him.
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