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Washington report confirms immigration law threatens marriage

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Same-sex couples already face substantial difficulties in the United States, but same-sex couples who also struggle with immigration issues have an even harder time. Recently, a Washington news story highlighted a San Francisco couple that falls into both categories. Now, an immigration law threatens one of the men with deportation, because the Defense of Marriage Act prevents federal authorities from legally recognizing a same sex union.

Seven years ago, the San Francisco resident and his Australian spouse were married in a Massachusetts ceremony. Since that time, the San Francisco man has developed a host of health problems that make life difficult. His Australian husband serves as his primary caregiver, but now his visa has expired.

Sadly, the threat of deportation may become a reality for this couple. If the Australian born partner in the marriage becomes illegal immigrant, immigration officials could detain him for deportation. If this happens, the San Francisco man would be without his primary caregiver and could face rapidly deteriorating health.

As immigration law debates continue to rage in the United States, a Washington news report confirmed that the pair has now become one of the 24,000 same-sex couples in the U.S., wherein one partner is not a citizen.

Advocates for same-sex marriage continue to push for the approval of spousal visas, but there's yet to be a ruling in the matter. In the meantime, couples may find that seeking legal advocacy is the best option for ensuring that every measure is taken to prevent deportation.

Source: The Sacramento Bee, "Gay couples in legal limbo with immigration," David G. Savage, 17 July 2011

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