DOMA | Immigration | News

White House Calls for Immigration Reform When Asked About Halting Deportations of Married Binational Same-Sex Couples


White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today suggested comprehensive immigration reform was a more palatable solution for the Obama administration to pursue than to issue a moratorium on deportations of foreign spouses in legally married binational same-sex couples. Such individuals are threatened with deportation under DOMA.

Chris Geidner at MetroWeekly reports:

In June 2009, the Department of Homeland Security issued the moratorium on deporting certain widows and widowers of U.S. citizens. At the time, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said, "Smart immigration policy balances strong enforcement practices with common-sense, practical solutions to complicated issues."

Advocacy groups, including Immigration Equality and Stop the Deportations, have been pushing the administration to take a similar step as to same-sex bi-national couples.


Asked today by Metro Weekly how the circumstances for same-sex bi-national couples differed from the 2009 decision that a moratorium was both possible and appropriate, Carney only would say, "The President has called for comprehensive immigration reform for a reason -- because he thinks we have to move in a comprehensive way to get there.

"Because that kind of comprehensive approach has in the past enjoyed bipartisan support, he believes that if we talk about it in the right way and we push for it and folks out in the country push for it, that we can return to a situation where there will be bipartisan support for it in the future."

Today, Freedom to Marry posted a video featuring a binational couple threatened with separation due to deportation.

Said Evan Wolfson, Founder and President of Freedom to Marry: “Cristina and Monica fell in love, made a lifetime commitment to one another, and got married. Now they spend every day worrying about whether they will be ripped apart or forced into exile in order to stay together because the so-called Defense of Marriage Act keeps the U.S. government from honoring their marriage. If not for DOMA, Cristina would be able to petition for Monica as her spouse without any difficulty. It is time to overturn DOMA and ensure that all Americans are treated fairly and equally under the law.”

Watch Cristina and Monica's story, AFTER THE JUMP...

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. Obama is all talk and no c0ck. There is not going to be any immigration reform. He only wants Hispanic votes.

    Posted by: Max | Jun 8, 2011 6:39:44 PM

  2. It's not an immigration issue, it's a marriage equality issue. There is no need for immigration reform for straight couples -- they can sponsor their foreign partners no problem. Why should being gay -- the ONLY difference -- result in deportation?

    Posted by: Dan | Jun 8, 2011 7:04:16 PM

  3. Obama is the best advocate we have. He's far from perfect but consider the alternatives. Lets support him but keep the pressure up. Remember he's behind ending "Don't ask don't tell" and will not allow DOMA to be enforced. It would be a million years before we got any Republican to do any of that. :)

    Posted by: Billl C | Jun 8, 2011 9:36:40 PM

  4. @Bill C,

    I think you meant that Obama will not defend the constitutionality of DOMA in court. He is enforcing DOMA.

    Posted by: Phil | Jun 9, 2011 12:18:21 AM

  5. Obama needs to evolve on marriage equality. The problem facing bi-national couples has nothing to do with immigration reform, straight couples from different countries are free to marry and can even get fiance visas!!!!

    Living inexile for 5 and a half long years, years gone and will not get back, years of our lives lost. We miss our friends, careers,way of life, and our home in the US sits empty while we pay taxes on it.

    Posted by: InExile | Jun 9, 2011 6:58:02 AM

  6. Obama doesn't care about people. He has unresolved issues with his father leaving him and his mama. Obama doesn't care about 4 million American citizen children who live in fear of losing one or both parents due to deportation. Obama doesn't care about couples, spouses who live in fear of losing loved ones. He actually enjoys watching other people's sufferings.
    Vote him out. He is no better than Republican.

    Posted by: kolos100 | Jun 9, 2011 8:42:16 AM

  7. @Kolos100: You forgot to take your meds again, didn't you?

    As has been said before, though: this is NOT an immigration reform issue. This is an issue of marriage equality. Waiting for an immigration reform bill to fix this is an intolerable prospect: every time an equal rights clause is attached to a bill, it ends up on the cutting room floor when the two Houses are in conference (see the Affordable Care Act for an example).

    Posted by: Rich F. | Jun 9, 2011 9:34:51 AM

  8. I take the answer as saying that the White House will not do anything about DOMA until the SCOTUS makes a ruling on it.

    People need to talk about the fact that deportation comes with a 10-year entry ban. Once these people are deported, they, very likely, will run into problems to get back into the country or applying for any kind of visa even after DOMA is struck down. That to me is the biggest question here, whether or not these people will be exempted from the 10-year ban if they are being deported due to the inability for them to get a marriage-based green card.

    Posted by: gayalltheway | Jun 9, 2011 1:23:43 PM

  9. Marriage is a church issue not a state one. Legal partnerships, without the word marriage, equal and irrespective of gender, are the way forward for America, and with those partnerships equal immigration rights for spouses.

    Posted by: J | Jun 10, 2011 10:21:20 PM

Post a comment


« «Towleroad Guide to the Tube #906« «