Same-Sex Couples considered a ‘Family Relationship’
The Department Of Homeland Security (DHS) passed a correspondence to consider same-sex partners as being in a "family relationship" for purposes of exercising prosecutorial discretion in immigration enforcement matters.
This was in response to a mounting pressure to do something about the status of the same-sex couples facing immigration problems, which led to generate interest in House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi by writing a letter to Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, with 84 House Democrats asking her to put into writing the equal position of gay couples in terms of deportation proceedings.
The move is to ensure that DHS is taking measures by urging field offices to not consider cases of deportation against a foreign same-sex partner of an American citizen who can obtain green card if in an opposite-sex relationship.
Earlier, due to the Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA), which only extended its immigration rights to bi-national heterosexual couples and prohibited the federal government to recognize same-sex couples' marriages, such couples (one of which is not a U.S. citizen) were unable to obtain green card.
DHS lightens one of the harshest aspects of DOMA by issuing the letter that provides relief to same-sex couples. The issuing of letter removes all the uncertainty regarding the same.
For more than a year, the DHS has been considering the priority cases for deportation and have been stating that it would treat favourably anyone with strong family or community ties in the U.S., but the status of LGBT families had been unclear.
The letter also states that a proper guidance procedure will be provided by U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to the immigration officers on field to clarify for them that ‘family relationships’ refers to long-term, same-sex partners as well.
With the announcement issued in the letter, it can be expected that the same-sex couples have a fighting chance against the process of deportation. And, yet it still has to be seen if this move provides a change in the way this community is treated.
Reddy & Neumann, P.C. is an immigration law firm in Houston, Texas. For over 15 years, our firm has successfully represented corporate clients across the United States in their efforts to bring foreign workers and business professionals to the United States. Reddy & Neumann, P.C. is highly experienced in working with employment-based visas, adjustment of status, green cards, and PERM labor certification. From filing, through approval, and on to appeal, we do everything possible to ensure that your company can bring the best and brightest in the world to the United States.