Immigration Org: Stop Deportations
March 17 2011 1:40 PM ET
An LGBT immigration rights group is calling on the Obama administration to use restraint in deportation proceedings involving married, binational gay couples pending ultimate resolution of the current legal challenges to section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act.
In written requests delivered Thursday to Atty. Gen. Eric Holder and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, the group, Immigration Equality, also called upon immigration officials to hold green card applications submitted on behalf of spouses of LGBT American citizens or legal residents until DOMA’s constitutionality is settled by the courts. Such a move, if enacted, could allow a noncitizen spouse to remain in the country pending such legal resolution.
"Of the many rights that flow from marriage, none is more immediate than the right to petition for lawful permanent residence for a foreign-born husband or wife,” Immigration Equality executive director Rachel B. Tiven and legal director Victoria Neilson wrote in the letter to Attorney General Holder. "Every day American families are torn apart because Section 3 of DOMA prevents a foreign spouse from obtaining lawful permanent residence."
Regarding deportation cases involving gay and lesbian spouses, Tiven and Neilson wrote that staying such removal proceedings "is the only way to ensure that the constitutional rights of American citizens are not being violated" until the DOMA cases are resolved.
Tiven told The Advocate that her organization's request to put green card application reviews on hold does not mean Immigration Equality is recommending that citizens apply for a green card on behalf of their noncitizen gay spouses in all cases. Individual cases vary on factors such as state of residency and current immigration status. Rather, she said her group is urging the administration to treat fairly those who may have already filed or may be in the process of filing.
Immigration Equality's letters come amid a growing call by both advocates and lawmakers for parity in cases of legally married gay and lesbian couples who are denied the same right as straight married couples to sponsor a noncitizen spouse or who are facing deportation proceedings.
Sign Up For Email Updates
- Education Theological School Grads Show Support With Rainbow Tassels May 24 2013 8:55 PM
- Technology Want the Worst? Search for 'Gayest' May 24 2013 8:25 PM
- The End of Bullying WATCH: It Already Got Better for This Colorado Student May 24 2013 7:58 PM
- Women Kaitlyn Hunt Refuses Plea, Heads to Court Over Same-Sex High School Relationship May 24 2013 7:48 PM
- Politics Ukrainian LGBT Pride Event Blocked May 24 2013 7:32 PM
- Sports MMA Fighter in First Fight Since Revealing Gender Transition May 24 2013 7:00 PM
- Women Op-Ed: Remembering Sakia Gunn: the News Coverage and Homophobic Murder May 24 2013 6:27 PM