Gay Immigrants Could Stave off Deportation Under New Rule

Friday, 03 Aug 2012 06:12 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Amid pressure from Democratic lawmakers, Homeland Security officials said Friday that a foreigner's longstanding same-sex relationship with a U.S. citizen could help stave off the threat of deportation.

Binational gay couples are eligible for consideration under a federal program designed to focus resources away from low-priority deportation cases and let officials spend more time tracking down convicted criminals, said Marsha Catron, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security.

However, the Obama administration will not automatically shelve deportation cases or process green card applications involving foreign citizens married to same-sex American partners.

Catron said her agency will continue to comply with a 1996 law that prohibits the government from recognizing same-sex relationships, even as Homeland Security takes these relationships into consideration when evaluating possible deportation.

The Obama administration last year said it considers the 1996 law unconstitutional and would no longer defend it in court.

Friday's statement, which builds on comments Homeland Security officials made last summer, came three days after 84 lawmakers demanded the agency put its position in writing to help protect same-sex couples from deportation.

Immigrant advocates welcomed the comments but said a formal policy still is needed.

"It is significant to me because it is expressly inclusive of LGBT families," said Lavi Soloway, an immigration attorney who represents a number of same-sex couples in deportation proceedings.

However, "as long as it's not in writing it doesn't mean that much for an individual in deportation," Soloway said.

That sentiment was echoed by Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, one of the authors of a letter this week urging the federal government to recognize couples' ties in a memo or field guidance.

The statement was first reported on Thursday by the online news site BuzzFeed.

Homeland Security officials did not answer questions about whether a written memo would be issued.

The federal government last year began reviewing deportation cases to determine which ones should be top priority and which ones might be shelved. Government attorneys weigh factors such as a person's criminal record, family ties and community relations in making their decisions.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

National Journal: Dems Didn't Run Far or Fast Enough From Obama

Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 09:10 AM

In anticipation of Democrats losing control of the Senate, White House officials are implying that candidates should hav . . .

Ted Cruz: Moderate Republican Won't Win White House in 2016

Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 09:04 AM

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz says the Republican Party should learn from history that running a moderate candidate for presiden . . .

Vets and Service Members to Be Tracked for Chemical Exposure in Iraq

Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 08:53 AM

Service members and veterans who served in Iraq and may have been exposed to Saddam Hussein's decaying chemical warfare  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved