Gay Rights Groups Jeopardize Immigration Reform Bill

| by Emily Smith
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Gay rights lobbyists are attemping to add an amendment to an already fragile piece of immigration reform. The bi-partisan bill would allow 11 million illegal immigrants to become US citizens.

However, further amendments could lead to the collapse of the entire bill.

This is a “very fragile coalition that we’ve been able to achieve,” said Sen. John McCain.

Support from Hispanics and gays were both essential to Obama’s reelection, and some are calling for favors to be returned. But Democrats are still hurting after their gun control defeat, so creating landmark legislation for Obama’s administration seems unlikely.

“As you continue to add other issues to the immigration discussion, it’s going to make it more challenging,” said Sen. John Hoeven.

Paul Ryan and Luis Gutierrez spoke on immigration reform Monday in Chicago. Bipartisanship and compromise were happily discussed until same-sex couples were brought up. Gutierrez said he would fight for the addition. Ryan laughed nervously, adding: “So I’m gonna stick with just the immigration stuff here.”

Lobbyists at the University of California School of Law believe the law should allow gay Americans of binational, same-sex couples to sponsor their partners for green cards, just as heterosexual couples can.

The idea is similar to one proposed in the Uniting American Families Act, proposed earlier this February, and could impact 267,000 people.

The exclusion of gay rights in the bill came as a surprise to some voters.

“You can’t pick and choose when you wanna be our allies,” Julio Rodrigeuz, who chairs the LGBTQ Immigration Rights Coalition of Chicago, said. “We’ve provided financial resources, we’ve provided people on the ground, and we expect a return on that investment.”

Sources: WBEZ, Detroit Free Press