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August 26, 2015

Advocacy Groups Ask White House to Postpone Decisions Affecting Same-Sex Spouses' Immigration Status

According to The New York Times, over 50 gay rights and immigrant advocacy groups have written a letter to the White House asking President Obama to delay the adjudication of derivative lawful permanent residency petitions that would benefit the foreign same-sex spouses of U.S. citizens.

In their December 10th request, the groups are seeking a postponement of USCIS decisions until the Supreme Court issues a ruling on same-sex marriage in one of the two such cases it has recently agreed to hear next year. According to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), same-sex marriages do not bestow federal benefits, including those related to immigration. As a result, the USCIS has, to date, denied petitions that would grant legal permanent resident status to the same-sex immigrant spouses of U.S. citizens despite a January 2011 declaration that the U.S. Department of Justice would no longer enforce DOMA in the courts.

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About this Author

Nataliya Binshteyn, Immigration Attorney, Greenberg Traurig Law Firm

Nataliya Binshteyn focuses her practice on global business immigration matters. Her experience includes representing political asylum applicants in immigration proceedings before Asylum Officers and Immigration Judges. Nataliya has experience conducting client interviews, researching country conditions and applicable laws, and soliciting expert testimony as well as drafting affidavits and immigration documents for filing with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.