US immigration includes same-sex partnerships to 'family definition'
United States, 29th September: For same-sex or gay partners, here is a piece of good news from US immigration.
US immigration officials have announced considering same-sex partnerships in the same manner as heterosexual relationships while deciding about deportations.
Foreign gay couples inclusion to ‘family definition’—Foreigners ‘long-term, same-sex’ partnerships will be considered by US immigration agents while taking a decision regarding stays of deportation. This means US same-sex partners will now have eligibility to get their deportations on hold.
This will be possible under a latest federal program aimed to focus on high-priority cases. It has been announced by Janet Napolitano, the US Homeland Security Secretary, in a letter issued to 84 Democratic lawmakers Thursday.
Her decision is a clarification of a memorandum by John Morton, Director of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) last year encouraging US agents to give priority to deporting serious offenders and criminals while staying deportation for lower-priority cases including people having family ties in the US, elderly and the sick.
Ms. Napolitano has assured of giving immediate instructions to US ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents regarding inclusion of lesbian and gay couples as ‘family relationships’ while considering US immigration proceedings.
Napolitano states in the a letter that written guidance will be given to ICE agents to clarify definition of ‘family relationships’ which now includes long-term relationship of same-sex partners.
Pro-gay rights welcome move—Advocates for lesbian and gay immigrants were all praises for the decision announced by Napolitano.
For the first time ever, gay and lesbian couples will be considered for deportation relief under US immigration policy, revealed an official spokesperson for(an advocacy group for lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual immigrants) Immigration Equality, Steve Ralls.
Echoes director of Immigration Equality, Rachel B. Tiven, who welcomes the move by Ms. Napolitano as a great step forward.
For long, LGBT families as well as their lawyers had just an oral promise to rely upon regarding inclusion of gay partners in family definition.
But, thanks to the efforts of DHS, promises have become a reality, adds Tiven. It will offer confidence and clarity to families struggling to deal with the deportation threat, says Nancy Pelosi, a US Representative.