Dear gays, immigration reform is only for “valuable” constituencies – you’re not

Irwin de Leon, a research associate with the Urban Institute, thinks gays aren’t “important” or “valuable” enough to merit being included in the immigration reform bill that’s supposedly “comprehensive,” yet looking more and more like a bill tailored to help one community’s immigrants, and not another’s.

I’ve written about the problem gay binational couples face – where one same-sex partner is American, the other is a foreign citizen, and how under US law even if they’re legally married the foreigner can’t remain in the US. There’s legislation to fix this called UAFA, but Senate Democrats acceded to Republican demands to dump it, and now we’re scrambling to get it back into the immigration reform bill.

All the while, Republicans like Marco Rubio and the pedophile-enablers over at the Catholic Church are throwing around empty threats about torpedoing the entire immigration bill if it addresses the immigration needs of gay Americans in addition to Latinos.  (Rubio is trying to woo the Latino vote for his 2016 presidential run, and knows he won’t get the gay vote.  So for Rubio, this bill is a two-fer: buy the Latino vote and bash the gays.)

Here’s de Leon lecturing gays about how their relevant importance and value makes it unnecessary for the immigration bill to actually address the immigration concerns of all Americans:

President Obama is spot on in that not everyone will be happy. Should a final bill pass, it is very possible that gay bi-national couples will not be part of it. Fact is, compromises are made and deals brokered whenever legislation is crafted. Moreover, some constituencies are more valuable than others. In this situation, the LGBT lobby will not prevail as there are far more important players to please and the “greater good” to consider.

Fact is, Irwin, Latino groups asked gays to sign on to this bill, and we did.  Our top groups are spending gay money, that’s supposed to be spent to further gay rights, but instead is being spent to help a “more valuable” constituency that doesn’t think we’re an “important” enough “player.”  Funny, we sure seemed important when you asked our groups to come on board, and when an immigration rights leader took over Get Equal and started using that LGBT group to push for an immigration bill that specifically excludes the very people those groups were formed to fight for.

As for “some constituencies are more valuable than others,” someone apparently needs to read more Orwell.

Gay immigration via Shutterstock.

Gay immigration via Shutterstock.

And you talk about the “greater good.” Whose greater good, exactly?  It sounds like you’re talking about the Latino greater good.  That is after all, the overwhelming majority of who this bill is geared towards helping.  And I’m fine with helping Latino immigrants, but if this is going to be pork legislation, and not comprehensive immigration reform, then let’s just admit that up front and stop the charade of pretending that this is some kind of reasonable “reform” to our immigration system, when it’s really about helping a single “constituency” that is more “valuable” than blacks and gays.

And finally, as for gays not being “important” enough players to merit inclusion in the bill, immigration supporters are lucky gay rights advocates aren’t handcuffing themselves to the headquarters of every Latino group in town. Because when you start talking about how unimportant gay people are, and how some constituencies are more valuable than others, I hear a challenge.

I hear someone suggesting that the gay community doesn’t know how to cause as much trouble for Democrats as Latinos do.

And honey, once the gay community finds out that the reason we’re being thrown under the bus in immigration reform is because immigration advocates think we aren’t as “valuable” as Latinos, you won’t know what hit you.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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