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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

Why is White House Still Pursuing the Deportation of Same Sex Spouses of US Citizens?

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Apologies for not covering this last week, but there have been some major developments in challenging USCIS' bar on US citizens filing immigrant petitions for their lawful spouses if they are of the same gender. That bar is based on the Defense of Marriage Act which the Obama Administration admits is unconstitutional. DOMA bars any federal recognition of same sex marriages even if the state where the marriage took place has legalized such marriages.


The White House has said it doesn't believe the law is constitutional and is not defending it in court. But it has also not ordered federal agencies to ignore the law and the Republican House of Representatives has taken up the legal defense of DOMA.


Last week, five couples filed a case in a federal district court challenging the ban and the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments in Boston challenging the immigration bar.


The Administration may genuinely believe the courts have to act before USCIS can ignore DOMA, but it is certainly free to exercise other administration options if it wants to help these families. They can cease all deportations under the recently released prosecutorial discretion memorandum and also grant work authorization documents, something also allowed (even though there is no evidence USCIS is issuing any work cards - something that I'll address in later posts). They could also grant parole status to these spouses as well as work cards. In short, there is ABSOLUTELY no reason to deport any of these individuals unless they are inadmissible for some other reason such as a criminal history. If the White House believes DOMA is unconstitutional and the ban on green cards for same sex spouses of US citizens is un-American, they need to show us.

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  1. uk immigration solicitors's Avatar
    It is not unusual for family reunification to be involved in the process of seeking asylum in another country. With this application, parents may send a child ahead to a new country, allowing that child to become naturalized and establish a home and job in that new setting.
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