Binational equality

Allice Perry, Staff Writer


Hope would be considered an understatement for gay couples and binational immigrants alike as they have waited decades for equality along with their basic rights. Things changed when Pres. Barack Obama discussed the separate bipartisan effort that was sponsored by the U.S. Senate’s “ Gang Of Eight” working group. The bill will pinpoint key factors behind the Senate and the House’s Statements of allowing undocumented workers to obtain legal residency in spite of the Federal government’s improvements of boarder Security and visa overstays.

In addition, the Washington Post stated that Obama will also push for binational same sex couples to be included within the legislation, paving the way for them to apply for the U.S. citizenship just as heterosexual couples do. However, U.S. Senator John McCain and architect of the bipartisan plan told CBS that granting those rights to binational same sex couples “was not of paramount importance.”

Hanson Kiraka, 32, an immigrant from the East African country of Tanzania who currently resides on Chicago’s Southside, is in disagreement with McCain, stating that “everyone should have the right to be with their partner that they love and care for.”

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney stated that he would not discuss as to whether Pres. Barack Obama is in agreement with the latest proposal, only noting that there have been more than 410,000 undocumented immigrants deported in the U.S. as of 2012, with the likelihood of the U.S. spending over $18 billion on immigration enforcement in 2012. The bill would even grant undocumented immigrants citizenship, a point of high contention among the Republicans.

Even though this issue was a highlighted issue in the first term of Obama’s election, many felt he had failed to put the plan into action. Federal law states that it does not recognize gay marriage even though certain states do recognize and accept it, this being established by the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 (DOMA).

John Morton of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spoke upon a memo that was released focusing on who should and shouldn’t be deported, stating that those facing civil rights charges on a legitimate basis were to be de-prioritized for deportation; including those who have “Family relationships” within the U.S.

The Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill of 2007 was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Democrats, with a focus on border security, worksite enforcement, and legal residency for 11 million immigrants in the country if they are likely to register with the feds, pay taxes and fines.

Another new bill that coincides with the law was introduced by Sen. Bob Menendez and will include the gay foreign spouse issue. This bill bears a striking resemblance to the bill that has been passed every year since 2000 called the United American Families Act. Menendez’s bill is possibly the most concrete proposal of the legislation that same sex couples can look to legalizing gay marriage.