News release from Immigration Equality:
Washington, DC – Immigration Equality executive director Rachel B. Tiven issued the following statement in response to the immigration reform proposal released by President Obama today. The President, in calling on Congress to pass reform this year, released a proposal in Las Vegas that supports legislation that specifically helps lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) binational couples. The President’s proposal “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,” the document released today notes. It also “seeks to eliminate backlogs in the family-sponsored immigration system,” a key priority for gay and straight families.
“LGBT families are elated to have the President’s support for an immigration reform bill that includes our families,” Tiven said. “When the President leads, Congress and the American people join him to stand for equality. From the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ to marriage equality, the President’s leadership has been effective, and critical, in winning real change for real families. As Congress moves forward in crafting legislation to fix our broken immigration system, we look forward to working with the President and our allies on Capitol Hill to pass a bill that ends the discrimination LGBT families face, provides a pathway to citizenship for undocumented people – gay and straight – and quickly integrates young people whose dream is to be fully, legally American.”
Earlier in the day, White House press secretary Jay Carney also told reporters the President supports an inclusive reform package.
“The President believes that it should be included and that should come as no surprise,” Carney said. “As we've said all along, this is consistent with the principles he has laid out over the last four years. And the President 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 the President's position on this is consistent with how we've approached prosecutorial discretion at DHS and others. So I think it should not be a surprise and it would be entirely inconsistent not to have that position.”