Gay activists are pressuring Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to include in the “Gang of Eight” immigration bill a provision that would, according to his fellow Gang of Eight member Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), kill the bill.
According to Politico, Schumer “called a meeting with prominent New York gay elected officials and activists amid concern over whether a provision sought by same-sex couples will be included in the immigration reform bill.”
“The meeting became heated at times, as many attendees made clear to Schumer how critical it is that the overhaul allow allows U.S. citizens to seek green cards for their foreign-born partners,” Politico’s Maggie Haberman wrote.
“Schumer is in a tough spot over the proposed amendment, which key Republicans involved in the reform talks have said would be a deal killer. While some officials who took part in the meeting voiced support for Schumer afterward, others said they would consider it a strike on his record if the provision is left out, noting that he voted for the Defense of Marriage Act and was the last of New York’s major elected officials to voice support for gay marriage.”
In a previous Politico story a few weeks ago by Carrie Budoff Brown, Rubio said such a provision–which Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT) is driving–would kill the bill. “It will virtually guarantee that it won’t pass,” Rubio said then. “This issue is a difficult enough issue as it is. I respect everyone’s views on it. But ultimately, if that issue is injected into this bill, the bill will fail and the coalition that helped put it together will fall apart.”
Nonetheless, Schumer is under fire from the gay community so he called the meeting. “Sen. Schumer called the meeting because he is in trouble with a key constituency,” Rachel Tiven of the group Immigration Equality said, according to Politico.
Quoting several people in attendance, Haberman described Schumer’s meeting with gay activists as “tense.”