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Senate Immigration Plan Leaves Out Same-Sex Couples
The plan proposed by the Senate "Gang of Eight" does not include gay and lesbian couples. Same-sex couples we spoke with are watching the issue closely in hopes that President Obama will include them in his plan.
We spoke with Aruba Cuevas who married his husband in California five years ago. While he has permission to work in the United States he hasn't been able to apply for citizenship.
Immigration Attorney Paul Parsons says that's because while in some states gay couples are allowed to marry, federal law does not allow a US citizen to obtain permanent residence status for a gay spouse, which is why Cuevas hasn't been able to apply for permanent residency and begin his path to citizenship.
Cuevas says it shouldn't matter that he is gay, he is still legally married. He says he works and pays taxes just like everyone else.
While the recent Senate proposal doesn't include same-sex bi-national couples, President Obama is likely to include language that allows same sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples.
Parsons says it's only a matter of time before same sex marriage is legal and immigration reform should reflect the changing political climate. "We should have an inclusive society, the trend these days politically and ethically is to include everyone in our society that lives in our community regardless of sexual preferences or race ethnicity or other backgrounds," he says.
As for Cuevas, he'll be watching the issue closely and says it's more than just an immigration issue, it's a civil rights issue.
By Lydia Pantazes