President Obama has directed immigration officials to recognize same-sex partners as family members in deportation cases. According to recent reports, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano notified immigrations and customs offices to interpret the phrase “family relationships” to include long-term, same-sex partners.
The policy is still limited by the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which bars the federal government from extending federal benefits, such as Social Security, to married gay and lesbian couples. DOMA also restricts the Obama administration from outright ordering that gay and lesbian couples be given the same rights as heterosexual couples. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide in late 2012 whether it will review a number of cases questioning DOMA’s constitutionality.
If you, a loved one, or someone you know might be impacted by this law and the new policies, please contact The Law Offices of Azita Mojarad & Associates. We are always here to help.