Immigration Options for Same Sex Couples May be Coming

Categories: Immigration Lawyer Blog San Diego

A few weeks ago, President Obama announced that the Executive Branch would stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in federal court.  See the Department of Justice press release here: Letter from the Attorney General to Congress on Litigation Involving the Defense of Marriage Act. The impact of this decision reaches into not only ongoing litigation, but also affects the status of numerous benefits available to married couples.  One of these benefits is immigration.  Although it’s too early to say how USCIS and ICE will proceed, cases involving the eligibility of same sex married partners are apparently being placed on hold by USCIS, and one Immigration Judge has closed the case of a New York woman legally married to her US citizen wife.  Although the federal courts will ultimately decide whether DOMA can be enforced in line with the Constitution, while they make that determination, it’s important that possible immigration relief be preserved for these couples and that their lives not be torn apart based on a law that in the end, may not hold water.

— Danielle