Post-DOMA, Same-Sex Couples Gain Immigration Benefits

After last week’s decision by the Supreme Court that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional, U.S. Citizens can now sponsor their same-sex spouses for federal immigration benefits including obtaining Lawful Permanent Residence or a “Green Card”. In a statement on the DOMA decision Wednesday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano said that the agency is “working with our federal partners, including the Department of Justice, we will implement today’s decision so that all married couples will be treated equally and fairly in the administration of our immigration laws.”

Executive director of Immigration Equality, Racehl Tiven, said “when the immigration system is evaluation a green card application, they ask “was your marriage valid in the place of celebration and is your marriage bona fide?”. It doesn’t matter if the couple got married abroad, as long as the marriage was legally recognized in that country. That benefit now applies to binational same-sex couples”.

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