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USA: Binational Same Sex Couples Can Now Get Green Cards

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

DOMA OverNow that the US Supreme Court has struck down section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, American citizens can sponsor their same-sex partners from other countries for a green card and eventually for citizenship. Joe.My.God reports:

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling striking down a core provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), lesbian and gay Americans will now be eligible to apply for green cards on behalf of their foreign national spouses, the organization Immigration Equality announced today. The court ruled today, in United States v. Windsor, that Section 3 of DOMA, which prohibited the federal government from conferring benefits to married same-sex couples, is unconstitutional. That provision of the law made it impossible for lesbian and gay couples to receive immigration benefits, including green cards.

While this is certain to be a relief for many couples, it doesn’t undo the damage the policy has done in the past to so many binational couples.

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USA: Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano – I Can’t Do Anything for Bi-National Gay Couples Because of DOMA

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Homeland Security Secretary Janet NapolitanoDisappointing but not unexpected – Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says the Defense of Marriage Act ties her hands when it comes to helping married binational gay and lesbian couples, The Washington Blade reports.

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano continues to say the Obama administration is unable to place on hold marriage-based green card applications for bi-national same-sex couples as long as the Defense of Marriage Act remains on the books… “The legal advice we have received is that we can’t put them in abeyance because DOMA remains the law,” Napolitano said. “We’d like to see that law overturned. In practical terms, however, most of those cases fall within very, very low priority in terms of what we’ve done over the last years, which is to build priorities into immigration enforcement, so we’re not seeing, in practicality, those deportations occur.”

Some dispute this reasoning:

Lavi Soloway, an immigration attorney and co-founder of the DOMA Project, denied the legal reasoning offered by Napolitano, saying DOMA prevents DHS from approving marriage-based green card applications, but says nothing about holding them in abeyance, nor would such a move “violate the spirit or letter of DOMA.” “It is regrettable that the administration continues to cite the questionable ‘legal advice’ that DOMA prohibits any remedies to would protect married binational gay and lesbian couples,” Soloway said. “Furthermore, this interpretation of DOMA is contradicted by their own action in the deportation context, where after two years of telling us that they could not issue a moratorium to stop ‘DOMA deportations’ for that very reason, the administration finally issued guidance in October 2012 to prevent deportations of the same-sex partners and spouses of American citizens who would be otherwise eligible for green cards if not for DOMA.”

We can only hope that the US Supreme Court strikes down this abominable law that has caused so much suffering for gay and lesbian couples.

Gay Couples Apply for Green Cards to Avoid Deportation

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

Faced with losing the life they’ve built together in the dusty California desert town of Cathedral City, Doug Gentry and Alex Benshimol are making a last-ditch effort to stave off the looming threat of deportation.

To a large degree, the couple is stuck. While the American information technology consultant and Venezuelan pet groomer wed at a romantic Connecticut ceremony last year, the federal government won’t recognize the marriage between the two men — and as a result, won’t approve their application for a green card granting permanent residency status for Benshimol.

But the couple, and others facing a similar predicament, are still trying. The men don’t expect to actually obtain a green card any time soon and have already been shot down once but hope filing an application might convince an immigration judge to at least refrain from deporting Benshimol while the fiery legal debate over the country’s same-sex marriage laws simmers.

Full Story from MSNBC

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