Obama’s push for gay rights in immigration reform prompts GOP opposition
When President Barack Obama unveiled his blueprint for immigration reform last week, he largely endorsed the Senate’s approach, with a slight twist: Under Obama’s plan, same-sex couples would be entitled to the same immigration rights as heterosexual couples. The difference caught many social conservatives off-guard, some of whom are now openly wondering why, just when the stars were aligning for comprehensive immigration reform, Obama would throw a monkey wrench into the mix. “He is basically pandering to the community,” said Tibi Ellis, a conservative Nevada lobbyist and advocate for immigration reform. “The argument is not about gender, marriage, or anything. The argument is about how do we revise our current immigration system.” Since the 2012 election, the immigration reform movement has unprecedented support, thanks to Latino voter turnout. The growing cohort pays close attention to where lawmakers stand on immigration — and in 2012, overwhelmingly supported liberal Democrats over conservative Republicans.