News / USA

Washington Week: Focus on Immigration, Same-Sex Marriage

Washington Week: Focus on Immigration, Same-Sex Marriagei
X
June 23, 2013 7:15 PM
The coming week could yield progress in the push to overhaul America’s immigration system. Landmark judicial rulings on same-sex marriage in the United States are also expected. From Washington, VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Washington Week: Focus on Immigration, Same-Sex Marriage
Michael Bowman
The coming week could yield progress in the push to overhaul America’s immigration system.  Landmark judicial rulings on same-sex marriage in the United States are also expected.

A proposal to dramatically boost U.S. border security could be the key to unlocking bipartisan support needed to pass comprehensive immigration reform in the Senate.  Democrat Charles Schumer said, “We are on the verge of a major breakthrough.”

The proposal would add 20,000 new border patrol agents, mandate the construction of more than 1,000 kilometers of new fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border, and boost surveillance technology.  The amendment aims to win the support of Republicans who oppose legalizing millions of undocumented immigrants until America’s borders are secure.

Senator John Cornyn said, “We do not have control of our southwestern border.”

President Barack Obama wants to sign a bill into law in coming months. “Stronger enforcement.  A smarter legal immigration system.  A pathway to earned citizenship.  A more vibrant, growing economy that is fairer on the middle class.  And a more stable fiscal future for our kids," he said.

A final Senate vote could come in the next two weeks. But its passage in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives remains far from assured.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is expected to weigh in on same-sex marriage.  The court could rule whether states have the right to prohibit gays and lesbians from civil marriage.  Separately, the court is expected to decide whether the federal government must recognize such unions.

President Obama reaffirmed his backing for same-sex marriage rights last week in Germany. “When we stand up for our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters and treat their love and their rights equally under the law, we defend our own liberty as well.  We are more free when all people can pursue their own happiness," he said.

Wednesday, Obama departs on a weeklong trip to Africa.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid