Main | Friday, August 03, 2012

Homeland Security To Consider Marriage Status Before Deporting Foreign Gays

After pressure earlier this week from Rep. Nancy Pelosi and a coalition of more than 80 Democrats, Homeland Security says it will consider the partner status of gay potential deportees. Chris Geidner reports at Buzzfeed:
The department has issued a new policy governing the issuances of "Notice to Appear" documents, which is the step that starts removal proceedings, which can lead to deportation. The new policy will put the policies of U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services — which considers green card applications — in alignment with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement policies for "low priority" enforcement cases, according to the department — which means that USCIS won't likely issue the notices unless other negative factors, like a criminal record, are found. A spokesman did not respond to an immediate request for a copy of the policy.
Well-known LGBT immigration advocate Lavi Soloway is thrilled. Via press release:
After a two-year campaign urging the Obama administration to stop the deportations of spouses of gay and lesbian Americans, we welcome the announcement by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that it will formally recognize same-sex marriages as part of its year-old ‘prosecutorial discretion’ deportation policy. By articulating the first federal policy to recognize marriages of gay and lesbian couples, the administration signals to deportations officers, Immigration Judges, and Immigration & Customs Enforcement prosecutors that our marriages must be considered when determining whether a case is deemed low priority for deportation.
Until DOMA is repealed Homeland Security will continue to deny green cards to the spouses of LGBT Americans.

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