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

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
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 Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
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 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 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.

VOA Blogs