Earlier today Sen. Marco Rubio noted two things that would cause him to walk away from the Gang of Eight’s immigration bill. In an interview with Andrea Tantaros, Rubio said that if the bill does not improve the “border situation” it will not pass. He added that “beyond that, if this bill has something in it that gives gay couples immigration rights and so forth, it kills the bill” and that he would no longer support it.
Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy has proposed just such an amendment to the bill. According to the Hill, Leahy filed the amendment earlier this week.
Two days earlier, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced an amendment that would provide the same protections to immigrants in same-sex married couples as heterosexual couples. The amendment would allow partners of immigrants living in the country illegally to get a green card under new provisions of the immigration bill. The text of the amendment reads, “any marriage entered into full compliance with the laws of the State or foreign country within which such marriage was performed.”
Both the amendment and Rubio’s comments follow the Senate’s approval of a motion to proceed on the bill.
In response to Rubio’s comments, a Leahy aide said that the senator “has filed the legislation and is committed to keep fighting for equality. He has not made a decision yet on whether to bring it up for a vote.”
If Sen. Rubio means what he says, that amendment could become an on-off switch for his support.
Prediction: The same Democrats who torpedoed the Grassley security amendment will not only vote for the gay rights amendment, they will cast any vote against it as “homophobic.” If it causes Rubio to walk away from the whole bill, the gay rights amendment becomes a cultural weapon against him in any future national campaign.
Exit question for Sen. Rubio: Do you trust Patrick Leahy and Chuck Schumer?