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Latino Daily News

Thursday December 8, 2011

Judge Rules Same-Sex Latina Couple Will Not be Separated by Deportation

Judge Rules Same-Sex Latina Couple Will Not be Separated by Deportation

Photo: Judge Rules Same-Sex Latina Couple Will Not be Separated by Deportation

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Earlier this week, Queens couple Cristina Ojeda and Monica Alcota were able to celebrate their marriage for the first time without the fear of deportation threatening their future.

For two years, Ojeda, 26, and Alcota, 36, having been fighting to keep Argentina-born Alcota in the U.S., arguing that denying her a green card based on the Defense of Marriage and Family Act (DOMA) is discrimination.

Monday, the couple’s lawyer, Lavi Soloway received a letter stating the deportation case against Alcota was closed November 30 after immigration Judge Terry Bain’s ruling.

Soloway said the government “moved in the right direction in the time we needed.”

In 2009, Alcota had been living in the U.S. for ten years after overstaying her visa. In July 2009, she was pulled a Greyhound bus, taken to New Jersey, and thrown in immigration detention. For three months, Ojeda traveled hours every day to visit her beloved.

In 2010, the couple married in Connecticut, as New York had not yet legalized gay marriage, and until Monday, had lived in fear that at any moment, the wives could be sent away.

Their fight is not over however, as they are still trying to get Acota’s green card application approved.

‘[The government understands] that they were dealing with a married, lesbian binational couple that but for DOMA would have had an avenue to a green card,’ Soloway told the New York Daily News.

The Obama administration recently stated that it would not longer support DOMA, which bans federal recognition of same-sex marriages, and also states that same-sex marriages in one state do not have to be recognized in another.