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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

TWO USCIS OFFICES ACCEPTING SAME SEX MARRIAGE GREEN CARD PETITIONS

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Hat tip to a helpful reader for this very encouraging news being reported by Newsweek. Readers may remember my posting a story last month that the Obama Administration has decided not to defend the reprehensible Defense of Marriage Act in court (though not surprisingly, House Republicans have taken up doing that work). Sooner or later, however, DOMA is going to be struck down. In the mean time, two USCIS offices - Washington, DC and Baltimore, have announced that they are accepting adjustment of status green card petitions and putting them on hold pending the decision by the courts in various cases working their way presumably up to the Supreme Court. Legally married couples - either married in states making same sex marriages (not just civil unions) legal or in the growing number of foreign countries that recognize same sex marriages - can file adjustment petitions and presumably get travel and employment authorization benefits while final adjudication on their cases waits. Also, couples facing the deportation of a spouse will now have a strong argument to get the Immigration Judge to place their cases on hold, something most judges do pending the outcome of a marriage-based petition.


Now it will be intesting to see what happens next. USCIS spokesman Christopher Bentley told Newsweek: "We have not implemented any change in policy and intend to follow the president's directive to continue enforcing the law." Will headquarters reverse what the two forward-thinking USCIS District Directors have done? Will other USCIS districts follow their lead (particularly if HQ decides not to interfere)?

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  1. Matthew Kolken's Avatar
    I have two current clients who may be able to take advantage of this. Let's hope this is a growing trend!
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