Immigration Officials End Hold On Deporting Bi-National Same-Sex Couples

The U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service has ended its hold on deporting foreign-born partners in same-sex marriages who would otherwise be eligible for a green card, citing “guidance” they had received over how to handle cases that might be affected by the Department of Justice’s decision to no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act.

“The guidance we were awaiting … was received last night, so the hold is over, so we’re back to adjudicating cases as we always have,” Christopher Bentley, press secretary for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services told the Metro Weekly Wednesday.The USCIS had issued guidance earlier this week “asking that related cases be held in abeyance while awaiting final guidance related to distinct legal issues,” since DOMA forbids the government from granting the same rights to same-sex couples.

The DOJ’s decision seemingly made the practice of deporting foreign-born partners in these cases murkier, though for the time being it seems the practice will continue.