ILGA » » Lesbian couple sues US government to stop same-sex deportations


Filter by Show me news ›

Lesbian couple sues US government to stop same-sex deportations

Jane DeLeon, from the Philippines, risks deportation because the US government will not recognize her three-year marriage to her American wife Irma Rodriguez.\n

Avatar of Alessia Valenza

20th July 2012 14:34

Alessia Valenza

Under the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1996 law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman, one spouse in a same-sex marriage can not sponsor the other for a green card.

De Leon and Rodriguez have reportedly been together for over two decades and married in California in 2008 when same-sex marriage was still legal.

In order to stay in the country, DeLeon needs a waiver that would show her absence would cause extreme hardship to her American spouse.

DeLeon looks after Rodriguez, who suffers from a mental condition that could worsen should her wife be forced to leave the country.

The waiver has been denied on the basis that DeLeon is in a same-sex marriage.

‘It’s clearly the kind of case where typically the waiver would have been granted, but it was simply denied based on DOMA,’ said Peter Schey, president of the Los Angeles-based Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law and the couple’s lawyer.

According to the Huffington Post, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services said it will continue to enforce DOMA ‘unless and until Congress repeals it or there is a final judicial determination that it is unconstitutional’.

The lawsuit claims that DeLeon has been approved for an immigrant visa based on her employment, but since she entered the US over 20 years ago using the name of her then common-law husband, she needs the waiver in order to stay in the country.

The couple is also seeking an injunction to stop the deportation of immigrants in same-sex marriages.