Attorney General Vacates Immigration Ruling Over DOMA Questions
Attorney General Eric Holder has vacated a decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals which could have important implications regarding the inequalities faced by binational same-sex couples under DOMA.
Lavi Soloway at Stop the Deportations notifies us, in an email:
In a cancellation of removal case involving a same-sex couple in New Jersey, the Attorney General of the United States has vacated a decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals and remanded the case for a new ruling. Specifically, the AG has asked the BIA to rule on whether a same-sex partner could qualify as a spouse under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Earlier today, Towleroad's legal expert Ari Ezra Waldman wrote about immigration law and DOMA with regard to the pending immigration case of Josh Vandiver and Henry Velandia, for whom there is a rally tomorrow in Newark.
Says Ari of Holder's decision:
"Today's guidance from Attorney General Holder is most welcome, especially to the families who would otherwise be unjustly torn apart by a misapplication of DOMA. Holder lays out specific factors immigration officials should consider when addressing the deportation of the gay foreign national spouses of American citizens. The Obama Administration has thus signaled that it is willing to look at valid same-sex unions as one of many reasons to stop or delay deportations in these cases. This is exactly the kind of guidance we need. Without these specific rules on what factors to consider, lower level executive branch bureaucrats have so much latitude, and that latitude lets them make mistakes and hide behind a bloated DOMA. Perhaps now, Mr. Velandia will not be unjustly deported on the whims of a few low level bureaucrats."
Read Holder's order, AFTER THE JUMP...
Chris Geidner at MetroWeekly has responses on the implications of Holder's order from Immigration Equality's communications director, Steve Rall and Eric Berndt, the supervising attorney for the National Asylum Partnership on Sexual Minorities at the National Immigrant Justice Center.