Immigration Equality and Citizen Crain, two blogs I like, are having a discussion on the lack of support for the Uniting American Families Act (the bill that would allow gays to sponsor their partners for immigration purposes in the US) from the two frontrunners in the Democratic presidential nomination: Obama and Clinton. As I see it, the discussion would be more interesting if the issue were harder, but the issue is not hard at all.
Here's the deal: Obama and Clinton say they are withholding support for UAFA because of a concern for immigration fraud. Obama's camp claims that:
"He [Obama] wants to make sure that immigration is possible for a partner in committed relationships, but he also wants to make sure there is a good mechanism for determining who qualifies for that status. He would like to see the Act [UAFA] get more specific with regards to defining ‘financial interdependence’ and the documentation required as proof in order to establish relationships — which could very well happen once the bill reaches the Senate floor."
As I see it, it is easy to side with Immigration Equality on this matter. They put it nicely:
"For our part, this is nothing new from the Obama camp and a continued attempt to have it both ways. The fraud protections in the UAFA are exactly the same as they are for married (opposite-sex) couples. I perhaps haven’t pushed this point hard enough in previous exchanges, but the fraud protections in the UAFA are not the problem. The problem is that politicians do not understand LGBT relationships and do not consider them bona fide. Whether it is because a marriage certificate cannot be issued, or some deeper discomfort with LGBT marriages we do not know, but to deny LGBT couples a marriage certificate and then say that because there is no marriage certificate you must be subjected to more intense scrutiny is discriminatory, and wrong. Let’s not forget that Obama does not support gay marriage while at the same time claims civil unions extend exactly the same rights as does a marriage certificate.
The fraud protections in the UAFA are no more loose or no more strict that current fraud provisions for opposite-sex couples. It is unfortunate that Sen. Obama, the child of a binational couple whose marriage was once as frowned upon as LGBT relationships does not see this double standard for what it is. We are continuing to work with the Obama camp to bring them onto the UAFA but we will not let them off the hook so easily."
What do you think?