Post(s) tagged with "immigration"
Attorney Lavi Soloway writes, “San Francisco Immigration Judge Marilyn Teeter has granted [Immigrations and Customs Enforcement] Motion to Administratively Close Deportation of gay Venezuelan Alex Benshimol, ending the nightmare faced by Alex and his American husband, Doug Gentry.”
Soloway — the co-founder of Stop the Deportations and lawyer representing Benshimol — notes that the decision was dated August 11 and received today.
In July, Teeter had put off a decision on the case until 2013, but had given the U.S. government 60 days to decide whether it was going to continue with Benshimol’s deportation.
Soloway writes, “According to the documents received today, ICE moved quickly to notify the court by the beginning of August requesting that the case be dropped. A few days later, the Judge granted the government’s motion and closed proceedings.”
This is at least the second time ICE has taken such an action in a case. Earlier this year, in a case involving another Venezuelan, Henry Velandia, and his husband, Josh Vandiver, the ICE office in Newark, N.J., took a similar action, noting that Velandia’s case “is not an enforcement priority at this time.”
The move appears to be in line with the plan laid out earlier this week by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for focusing on the “highest priority” deportation cases.
Citing the Defense of Marriage Act, the Obama administration denied immigration benefits to a married gay couple from San Francisco and ordered the expulsion of a man who is the primary caregiver to his AIDS-afflicted spouse.
Bradford Wells, a U.S. citizen, and Anthony John Makk, a citizen of Australia, were married seven years ago in Massachusetts. They have lived together 19 years, mostly in an apartment in the Castro district. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services denied Makk’s application to be considered for permanent residency as a spouse of an American citizen, citing the 1996 law that denies all federal benefits to same-sex couples.
The decision was issued July 26. Immigration Equality, a gay-rights group that is working with the couple, received the notice Friday and made it public Monday. Makk was ordered to depart the United States by Aug. 25. Makk is the sole caregiver for Wells, who has severe health problems.
"I’m married just like any other married person in this country," Wells said. "At this point, the government can come in and take my husband and deport him. It’s infuriating. It’s upsetting. I have no power, no right to keep my husband in this country. I love this country, I live here, I pay taxes and I have no right to share my home with the person I married."
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