Bi-National Same Sex Couples Still At Risk

Yesterday a shocking announcement came from U.S. Citizenship and
Immigration Services, who had initially indicated that the
department would cease deportations of married same-sex bi-national
couples. Several organizations issued statements applauding the
announcement, and it seemed for a while that these families were
out of the woods. Immigration services had temporarily halted
pending deportation cases pending further instructions from the
Department of Justice regarding its recent position on the Defense
of Marriage Act.

Yesterday’s announcement creates further confusion as the same
department today announced that the policy will remain in effect.
Johnson, of the Washington Blade, reports:

Christopher Bentley, a spokesperson for U.S.
Citizenship & Immigration Services, confirmed on Wednesday that
the temporary hold on green card applications from married same-sex
couples has been lifted after the agency received the anticipated
legal instructions on issues that emerged after President Obama
declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.

“USCIS has not implemented any change in policy and intends to
follow the president’s directive to continue enforcing the law,”
Bentley said.

So what does this mean for our families?

Recently the Department of Justice set a new legal standard by
which cases involving the 1994 Defense of Marriage Act were to be
measured. This action, which had far reaching implications for a
number of laws, required the department of U.S. Citizenship &
Immigration Services to check in with the Administration to see if
the new standards affected deportation.

This check-in prompted yesterday’s statement.  The results of the
new instructions from the administration apparently have not
changed the deportation policy, and after a brief hiatus those
deportation and immigration cases are now proceeding once again.
All of the LGBT families, including same-sex couples and families
with trans parents, in danger of being separated by current
immigration laws are still facing the possibility of being torn

Nothing has changed. For now.