Amir Rasoulpour graduated a year ago from the City University of New York law school and didn’t know exactly what he’d do. He got a job for a short time at a small Queens immigration firm but wanted something different, more creative, so he started looking around for opportunities. In late June he found one.
Shortly after the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, which barred gay couples from the federal benefits attached to marriage, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano made clear that her immigration agents would start accepting marriage-based visa applications from same-sex couples.
“Immigration visa petitions filed on behalf of a same-sex spouse [will be reviewed] in the same manner as those filed on behalf of an opposite-sex spouse,” Napolitano announced.
When Rasoulpour’s heard this he had two thoughts. On the one hand he was thrilled. As an Iranian-American whose parents immigrated to the U.S., Rasoulpour knows firsthand that opening legal routes to immigrate will change lives for the better. But he also worried that Napolitano’s assertion that gay and straight couples will be treated exactly the same could end up backfiring for some couples.