Thursday, February 14, 2013

Immigration reform: Reuniting families

Reuniting families:
Barack Obama: He would eliminate the existing backlog in the family-sponsored immigration system. He would do this by recapturing unused visas and temporarily increasing visa numbers. He would increase the annual country caps from 7 to 15 percent for the family sponsored immigration system. He would also treat same-sex families as families. He would do this by giving U.S. citizens and permanent lawful residents the ability to seek a visa on the basis of a permanent relationship with a same-sex partner.
Gang of Eight: Calls for reduced backlogs in family visas but doesn’t set a percentage cap. Doesn’t address same-sex couples.
General notes: While I’m glad that Barack Obama is addressing the issues of same-sex couples with regards to immigration reform, I am not surprised or bothered by the fact that the Gang of Eight is not addressing them yet. Politically speaking, Senators have a lot to lose by talking about same-sex couples, in general. Coupled with immigration reform and it would make no sense politically to address both of these issues at the same time. Apparently, family immigration is the biggest reason for immigration. So, there’s that.

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