California | Immigration | News

Shirley Tan Gets Temporary Reprieve from Deportation


Some good news from Pacifica, California in the immigration case we've been following concerning Shirley Tan, Jay Mercado, and their twin sons. The couple of 23 years was set to be split apart today by the U.S. Government because of existing immigration and marriage laws which don't recognize same-sex couples.

The Mercury News reports:

"Shirley Tan, whose partner of more than two decades is a U.S. citizen, had her deportation delayed by the Department of Homeland Security until April 22. The stay gives Tan more time to make the case that she should be able to remain in the country legally. Tan and her partner, Jay Mercado, have been expecting to move to the Philippines with their sons if Tan was forced to leave the U.S. The stay — obtained with the help of Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. — 'gives them hope,' said Melanie Nathan, a Marin County mediator working with the couple."

It's only 19 days but it's something with which to work. Their story, if you missed it yesterday, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Any information on how we can help them financially? I am certain that they will need legal assistance and that means $$$$! If anyone has info on how to help please post it!!
    Thank you

    Posted by: alex in boston | Apr 3, 2009 12:36:44 PM

  2. Video from local tv station on reprieve.

    Posted by: elvis Murks | Apr 3, 2009 12:49:06 PM

  3. This is great news! Kudos to Rep. Jackie Speier of San Mateo County.

    Posted by: chadSF | Apr 3, 2009 12:53:17 PM

  4. They look like a wonderful family and I truly wish them the best!

    Posted by: Marc | Apr 3, 2009 1:16:55 PM

  5. I truly don't mean to sound unsympathetic because I really am sympathetic about her case long have the two of them been in the US? Did she have 23 YEARS to gain her US citizenship?!

    Posted by: Mark Hendricks | Apr 3, 2009 1:44:11 PM

  6. "Did she have 23 YEARS to gain her US citizenship?!"

    The point is, if she were part of a straight couple, she wouldn't have to make a case to stay in the country, it would be a given. It's pure discrimination.

    Posted by: Ernie | Apr 3, 2009 3:56:18 PM

  7. Actually if you want to send donations for their legal fund you can to:
    Private Courts Mercado Tan Legal Fund
    1100 Larkspur Landing Circle, Ste 112
    Larkspur, CA 94939

    Posted by: Melanie Nathan | Apr 3, 2009 10:51:22 PM

  8. @ Mark Hendricks,

    Hey, what makes you think she wasn't trying to become a U.S. citizen, legally, all that time? I knew of a guy who'd come to this country, legally, and tried to become a citizen, legally through all the hoops, and was deported after 18 years. His kids were born and raised in this country, he had a business and a home here, and was a decent law-abiding citizen...guess what? He was still shipped off to Iraq.

    p.s. Years ago PBS did a documentary about immigration in the US, before ICE was formed, and the immigration agents said they had to reject 50% of the applicants. Not because they weren't qualified, just that that they were expected to reject half because of a quota or something.

    Posted by: Wheezy | Apr 3, 2009 11:19:30 PM

  9. Please come support marriage equality. Marriage equality stretches far beyond the 14th Amendment; it is our belief that denying marriage to a couple based off of sexual-orientation is a violation of the 1st Amendment. Please review the following links to learn more; contact The Monastery at: or 206-285-1086

    Call us or write us for more information. We have secured the constitutional law firms of Arizona based DeConcini McDonald Yetwin & Lacy, and Seattle-based Carney Badley Spellman.

    "We've got to have law and order in this land, If we're ever going to see the Promised Land. We may never get to come this way again, We're not living by the laws of the Constitution, Somebody got to come up with a better solution." -Love Committee 1978

    Posted by: A Moore | Apr 20, 2009 3:59:22 PM

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