Same-Sex Couples Granted Protection in Deportations

The Obama administration has officially asked immigration officials to treat gay couples in deportation cases as ‘family members’ – the same as those in heterosexual relationships.  In letters sent late Wednesday to several Democratic lawmakers, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano stated that she was clarifying the guidelines used by enforcement officers when applying a policy of prosecutorial discretion in cases of illegal immigrants with no criminal convictions.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been ordered to direct its field offices “that the interpretation of the phrase ‘family relationships’ includes long-term, same-sex partners.” Napolitano’s letter states, “In an effort to make clear the definition of the phrase ‘family relationships,’ I have directed ICE to disseminate written guidance to the field that the interpretation of the phrase ‘family relationships’ includes long-term, same-sex partners.”

Read the New York Times article for more details.

 

Contact Mary Ellen Reihsen of Foley & Mansfield’s immigration group for additional information or assistance – mreihsen@foleymansfield.com.

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