Saturday, May 07, 2011

Obama Enacts Same-sex 'Marriage' via Immigration

President Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder set aside a Board of Immigration Appeals ruling to deport a 'gay spouse' illegal immigrant. The Board's ruling was based on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), but because Obama considers DOMA unconstitutional (while lacking constitutional authority for such a pronouncement), Holder's Dept. of Justice has de facto halted enforcement of this federal law.

For background on DOMA, read White House Torpedoed Marriage from Start

For further background on today's story (below), click these headlines for previous articles:

Obama Pushes U.S. Citizenship for Foreign Homosexuals

Immigration Reform = National Same-sex Unions

Obama Legalizes Same-sex 'Marriage' via Passports

UPDATE 12/7/11: Federal Judge Terry A. Bain issued landmark ruling paving way for thousands of undocumented immigrants in same-sex "marriages" avoid deportation

UPDATE 7/15/11: Judge delays deportation for gay Costa Rican man, David Gonzalez, married to a U.S. citizen

-- From "Deportation of same-sex spouse halted" by The Associated Press 5/7/11

A dancer from Venezuela who married an American man in a same-sex ceremony had his deportation placed on hold yesterday, one day after Attorney General Eric Holder set aside an immigration ruling in a similar case.

Henry Velandia, 27, a professional salsa dancer from Caracas, wants to be allowed to remain in the United States as the spouse of US citizen Josh Vandiver, 29. The couple live in New Jersey but were married last year in Connecticut, where same-sex marriage is legal.

Yesterday, an immigration judge in Newark adjourned Velandia’s case until December, citing Holder’s decision a day earlier. In that case, Holder set aside a Board of Immigration Appeals ruling allowing the deportation to Ireland of Paul Wilson Dorman, a gay man illegally in the United States is in a civil union with his partner.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Judge Gives Immigrant in Same-Sex Marriage a Reprieve From Deportation" by Julia Preston, New York Times 5/6/11

[This is] an unusual signal this week from the Obama administration that it is exploring legal avenues for recognizing same-sex marriages in immigration cases.

Citing the move by the attorney general, Judge Alberto J. Riefkohl of immigration court in Newark postponed Mr. Velandia’s deportation until December at the earliest. The judge said he wanted to allow time for the attorney general and the appeals court to work out whether a gay partner might be eligible under some circumstances for residency.

Rachel B. Tiven, the executive director of Immigration Equality, a legal group that advocates for gay immigrants, said the change of course in the two cases had sent “a signal of openness” from the administration.

Representative Lamar Smith of Texas, the Republican who is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said the attorney general had “instructed an immigration court to ignore DOMA in future rulings.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Judge delays ruling in deportation of gay N.J. couple, allows man to stay in U.S." by Megan DeMarco, Statehouse Bureau, The Star-Ledger 5/6/11

Valandia will have to appear in court again on Dec. 16, but in the interim can stay in their Princeton home.

"It's the best outcome that we could have hoped for," said gay rights lawyer Lavi Soloway, who added that the law could change by December.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Judge halts deportation proceedings for gay Venezuelan national" by Chris Johnson, Washington Blade 5/6/11

“Today we have won an important victory by stopping the deportation of Henry Velandia,” [his lawyer Lavi] Soloway said. “The Immigration Judge has demonstrated that it is appropriate to proceed with caution when a marriage-based green card petition is pending precisely because the law and policy impacting lesbian and gay bi-national couples is in a state of flux. The Immigration Judge has acted to protect Josh and Henry from being torn apart at a time when new developments suggest that potential solutions for bi-national same-sex couples may be on the horizon.”

According to Soloway. Immigration & Customs Enforcement Assistant Chief Counsel David Cheng, who’s prosecuting the case on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security, agreed to the adjournment.

“The administration must act now to institute a moratorium on all deportations of spouses of gay and lesbian Americans to ensure that all same-sex bi-national couples are protected until the fate of DOMA is determined by Congress or the Supreme Court,” Soloway said.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.