Two days after Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt) introduced an amendment to the bipartisan immigration reform bill that would grant protections to bi-national same-sex couples, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) co-author of the bill, said that he would revoke his support, saying that as the bill as currently written, it has "no chance" of passing.
"If this bill has in it something that gives gay couples immigration rights and so forth, it kills the bill," Rubio said today on conservative commentator Andrea Tantaros’ talk radio show, further saying, "I’m gone, I’m off it, and I’ve said that repeatedly. I don’t think that’s going to happen, and it shouldn’t happen, this is already a difficult enough issue as it is."
Yahoo News reports - The effort underway in Congress to overhaul the nation’s immigration system is a bipartisan one, and its success hinges on a fragile coalition of political, business and religious groups that span the ideological spectrum. Opponents of Leahy’s amendment have said repeatedly that his proposal would cause some key groups to withdraw their support and kill the bill. Rubio’s exit would be especially devastating to its survival.
On Tuesday, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced an amendment to the immigration reform bill, which extended protections to same-sex bi-national couples and provided the same path to a green card as it would for heterosexual couples. The text of the amendment reads, "any marriage entered into full compliance with the laws of the State or foreign country within which such marriage was performed."
"If the border situation is not improved in this bill, this bill won’t pass," Rubio said. "It won’t pass the Senate and it has no chance in the House. It won’t become a law and we’re wasting our time."
As reported in TheHill.com, in response to Rubio’s comments, a Leahy aide said that the senator "has filed the legislation and is committed to keep fighting for equality. He has not made a decision yet on whether to bring it up for a vote."
"I’d also note, again on background, that Sen. Leahy did not prevent any member from offering an amendment in Committee and has worked to maintain an fair and transparent process that involves all senators," the aide added.
"Seeking equal protection under our laws for the LGBT community is the right thing to do," Leahy said. "I withheld my anti-discrimination amendment during the Senate Judiciary Committee markup. As the entire Senate turns to debate the immigration bill, the fight for equality must go on."
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