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Immigration court delays deportation of gay spouse

A Mexican man, who was brought to the United States as a boy, was stopped for a routine traffic violation last year. Because he was undocumented, he was detained and now faces deportation. Even though the man has lived in the United States for 21 years and his spouse is an American citizen, he could still be sent back to Mexico.

Ordinarily, the immigrant spouse of an American citizen can apply for a green card to obtain legal residency. The difference in this case is that the man and his spouse are gay. Although several states now recognize gay marriage, the Defense of Marriage Act still prevents the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage.

Recently, an immigration court decided to delay the man's deportation and scheduled another hearing for Oct. 23, 2012, which gives him time to prepare his case. If the man is deported, he cannot return to the United States for 10 years, but his lawyer said that the delay is a good sign.

Even though the Obama Administration has said that it won't uphold the Defense of Marriage Act in court, the law has not yet been repealed, which has caused a major headache for bi-national same-sex couples who are legally married.

The man's lawyer, who is also the founder of the Stop The Deportations-The DOMA Project organization, said that he hopes the man's marriage is taken into consideration at the hearing on Oct. 23. He said that the new guidelines adopted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement last summer could also help his client's case.

Source: Latino Fox News, "Judge Delays Deportation of US Gay Man's Mexican Partner," March 23, 2012

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