Bi-National LGBT Immigrant Deportations On Hold

Jim Burroway

March 28th, 2011

That’s according to Metro Weekly, which just confirmed with a spokesman for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, that deportation cases of foreign partners who are married to a same-sex partner and would otherwise be eligible for a green card are on hold, pending questions about the continued validity of the Defense of Marriage Act:

He notes, however, “USCIS has not implemented any change in policy and intends to follow the President’s directive to continue enforcing the law.” The legal distinction means that although DOMA is still being enforced, the USCIS is using its discretion to hold off on denying green card applications where applicable.

Last month, President Obama’s Justice Department announced that they would only defend section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act under heightened scrutiny, which effectively means that due to the discriminatory nature of the act, the DoJ believes it to be unconstitutional. Section 3 holds that the Federal government is not required to recognize same-sex marriages at the state level. However, the federal government is free to establish alternative arrangements. For example, beginning in 2009, widows of U.S. citizens are no longer subject to deportations even though, by definition, they are no longer married to a U.S. citizen.

Muscat

March 28th, 2011

Wait, before 2009 we were deporting widows of U.S. citizens? That’s disgusting.

RWG

March 28th, 2011

@Muscat: You need to understand that the US Immigration Service is not there to facilitate immigration to the US; it’s purpose is to keep people out.

That said, this recent development is encouraging. The US government has inflicted a lot of needless pain on gay and lesbian bi-national couples.

Désirée

March 28th, 2011

@muscat: they were deporting (or attempting to – these often wound up in court) windows of US citizens whose own application for naturalization were not yet finalized. That is, if you got married to a US citizen, applied for citizenship, and then your spouse died while you were waiting for the paperwork to go through, they would attempt to deport you.

customartist

March 29th, 2011

With everything that is happening, the big picture tells me that we will be gaining our right to marry, and that while frustrating for now, it is just a matter of time.

The administration is indeed moving this thing, albeit in some very subtle ways.

Cheers! :D

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