Photo: Immigration Equality
Strengthened by the Obama administration’s announcement that they will no longer defend part of the Defense of Marriage Act in Court, an immigration rights group is trying to put together a case to sue the federal government for preventing married gay people from sponsoring their spouses for citizenship.
Heterosexual Americans can apply for their foreign-born spouses to become citizens, but gay Americans cannot, even in states where gay marriage is legal. If gay marriage were recognized federally, foreign-born spouses would be eligible for citizenship.
In the meantime, the group Immigration Equality is asking the Department of Homeland Security to stay deportations in cases where a person was denied residency because the federal government wouldn’t recognize his or her same-sex marriage. Once a person is deported from the United States, he or she may not return for 10 years.
Attorney Lavi Soloway told the Lookout that because the Obama administration finds DOMA unconstitutional, federal officials should not use it as a reason to deport people. “Now all three branches of government are moving in a direction towards the elimination of this law, and it’s the only thing that stands between many binational same sex partners from being able to stay with his husband,” he said.