Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Hold is Over: No Green Cards For Married Gay Foreigners

Last Friday the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), which falls under the Dept. of Homeland Security, announced that it would suspend its usual practice of denying green cards to foreign-born spouses in same-sex marriages for an unspecified period of time, following the decision by the Obama administration not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court.

Activists had said the agency would wait until pending DOMA court challenges had been ruled on before deciding on deportation in these cases. The Daily Beast called the action "a game changer" and "a lifeline" for binational married gay couples.

On Wednesday USCIS cut that lifeline when it announced that it would continue to enforce DOMA as outlined by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in last month's memo.

Metro Weekly reports:
The "hold" on same-sex married bi-national couples' green card applications -- celebrated by immigration and LGBT advocates -- is over, according to the spokesman for the agency that processes those requests. "The guidance we were awaiting ... was received last night, so the hold is over, so we're back to adjudicating cases as we always have," U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services press secretary Christopher Bentley told Metro Weekly this morning.

The agency will continue to "enforce the law," he says, which means that the Defense of Marriage Act -- which prohibits the government from recognizing same-sex marriages -- prevents those green card applications from being approved.
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please keep comments relevant and civil. Comments attacking other people will be deleted.

Subscribe in a reader