News / USA

Washington Week: Focus on Immigration Reform, Benghazi

Washington Week: Focus on Immigration Reform, Benghazi Attacki
X
May 05, 2013 8:31 PM
The U.S. Congress reconvenes after a week-long recess to continue work on immigration reform and to delve once again into last year’s terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Washington Week: Focus on Immigration Reform, Benghazi Attack
Michael Bowman
The U.S. Congress reconvenes after a week-long recess to continue work on immigration reform and to delve once again into last year’s terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

A push to overhaul U.S. immigration laws has been gaining momentum in the Senate, where a bipartisan reform bill was unveiled last month.  This week, senators could decide whether the bill extends equal protections to homosexual immigrants whose relationships are not recognized under current federal law.

Last week, President Barack Obama spoke in favor of gay-inclusive immigration reform. “The LGBT [lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgendered] community should be treated like everybody else.  To me, that is the essential core principle behind our founding documents - the idea that we are all created equal," he said.

The issue?  Gay Americans cannot sponsor a foreign spouse for U.S. residency and eventual citizenship.  Bi-national married gay couples, like American Heather Morgan and Spaniard Maria del Mar Verdugo, could be torn apart at any time.

“We have that complete uncertainty and the idea that at a moment’s notice, Maria could be forced to leave," she said.

But some Republican lawmakers warn against injecting gay rights into immigration reform, saying to do so would put the entire bill in jeopardy.  The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to consider the issue when it meets later this week.

Meanwhile, the terrorist attack that killed four Americans - including the ambassador - in Benghazi, Libya will be examined once again by an oversight committee in the House of Representatives.  Republicans like Darrell Issa remain dissatisfied with the Obama administration’s explanations of its actions before and after the assault.

“We need to operate in a country like Libya erring on the side of security," he said.

Tuesday, President Obama will receive South Korean President Park Geun-hye at the White House.  The visit follows a period of dramatically-escalated tensions surrounding North Korea, and amid a reassessment of America’s security posture in the Asia-Pacific region.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs