Harry Reid: Immigration Reform Needs to Protect Gay Couples
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) told ABC’s "This Week" on Sunday that he wants President Barack Obama’s immigration reform to include protections for LGBT families, Think Progress reports.
The website notes that there are at least 28,500 same-sex couples in which one partner is not a U.S. citizen. According to current federal law, these relationships are not legal and bi-national couples and their children are prohibited from gaining visas on the basis of same-sex unions. "The Obama administration’s framework would allow families to apply for visas on the basis of their permanent unions, while the bipartisan senate principles do not," Think Progress writes.
A number of conservatives, however, don’t want the immigration reform to include same-sex couples and Think Progress notes, "Reid characterized the GOP resistance to including the equality amendment as an excuse to avoid supporting comprehensive reform."
"This Week" host, George Stephanopoulos, mentioned Senator John McCain, Arizona State Senator and the Republican presidential nominee in the 2008 election, who has been vocal about his opposition to the amendment that would protect LGBT bi-national families.
"If we have gay folks in this country who have children, or they come from some other place they should be protected just like any other child," said Reid.
"That’s the position the Republicans are saying that’s too heavy to lift," said Stephanopoulos.
"If they’re looking for an excuse not to support this legislation, this is another one, but the American people are past excuses. They want this legislation passed," said Reid.