Monday, February 4, 2013
John F. Kerry filed Senate Bill 48, in attempt to achieve permanent resident status for a gay Brazilian national facing deportation because he does not qualify for a spousal visa. President Obama is now aiming to grant same-sex couples immigration rights equal to those of heterosexuals. The proposal could allow up to 40,000 foreign nationals in same-sex relationships to apply for legal residency and even U.S.citizenship.
Congressional Republicans are pushing back and say it could interfere with the potential for a comprehensive agreement aimed at providing a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants. The proposal was not included in the immigration proposals that a bipartisan Senate working group issued last week. Obama largely accepted their overall framework.
There are intense lobbying efforts on both sides of this proposed issue, and the same-sex community hopes that Obama, who endorsed same-sex marriage in the spring, will stay true to the hopeful vision he advances for the same-sex community. In the meantime, the Supreme Court is reviewing the constitutionality of DOMA. Some gay rights advocates think that if the court strikes down DOMA, the question of a same-sex provision in immigration law may be irrelevant.
See David Nakamura & Zachary A. Goldfarb, In Immigration Debate, Same-sex Marriage Comes to the Fore, The Washington Post, Feb. 2, 2013.