Immigration | News | San Francisco

Gay Couple Married Seven Years Loses Battle with U.S. Immigration and DOMA, Gets Deportation Order

Bradford Wells and Australian Anthony John Makk, who have lived together for 19 years and were married seven years ago in Massachusetts, have lost their battle with U.S. immigration and DOMA, the SF Chronicle reports.

Makk 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.

Despite please to Janet Napolitano and Barack Obama to intervene, the couple has lost their case:

The agency's decision cited the Defense of Marriage Act as the reason for the denial of an I-130 visa, or spousal petition that could allow Makk to apply for permanent U.S. residency. "The claimed relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary is not a petitionable relationship," the decision said. "For a relationship to qualify as a marriage for purposes of federal law, one partner must be a man and the other a woman."

The couple also says they met several requirements in an enforcement memorandum issued by ICE's director, John Morton in June:

Aside from being a spouse of an American citizen, Makk is also the primary caretaker of a citizen, has no criminal history, and has legally resided in the country under various visas for many years.

Wells and Makk must now decide whether to spend more money to file a motion to reconsider after spending $2,000 to file the petition that was denied. Immigration Equality and Rep. Nancy Pelosi are both working to help the couple, but the future is very uncertain.

SF Married Couple Loses Immigration Battle [sf chronicle]

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  1. This makes me so, so angry...

    Posted by: Remote Patrolled | Aug 9, 2011 9:52:38 AM

  2. America should be disgustingly embarrassed by this story. This is tragic and sad beyond words.

    It's a good thing America was not built with the dreams and hopes of immigrants... oh, wait...

    Posted by: shaun | Aug 9, 2011 9:56:40 AM

  3. Damn this country for its backwards, bigoted ways.

    Posted by: K in VA | Aug 9, 2011 9:57:13 AM

  4. Remember, the authorities have discretion and don't have to deport them ... other gay couples have been spared deportation and yet here is a situation of life and death. F*** Obama.

    Posted by: Daniel | Aug 9, 2011 10:02:00 AM

  5. :*(

    Posted by: Christian | Aug 9, 2011 10:04:06 AM

  6. @Daniel, I can almost guarantee Obama hasn't heard about this particular case... Which is why we need to spread this story around, call the White House (202-456-1111) asking them to intervene, call Min. Leader Pelosi's office (202-225-4965) to thank her for what she is doing and encourage her to do more...

    Posted by: Billy | Aug 9, 2011 10:07:56 AM

  7. Reading this just set my hair on fire. This issue is the FRONTLINE of the marriage equality debate and if we let this drop then we deserve our second class status.

    Posted by: yonkersconquers | Aug 9, 2011 10:08:43 AM

  8. Oh but Bill it's so much more fun to say f*ck Obama when the president has called DOMA unconstitutional. Isn't it? I wonder how much this guy froths at the mouth when Andy posts about GOP gays and the right wing.

    Anyway, poor guys.

    Posted by: Rowan | Aug 9, 2011 10:12:39 AM

  9. Absolutely disgusting beyond words. Pathetic. Hopefully something can be done to spare this couple this potentially unspeakable tragedy that could tear them apart.

    Posted by: Francis | Aug 9, 2011 10:13:56 AM

  10. Make no mistake, if it were Bachmann or any of those radical right wing scumbags in the White House, they'd even prevent immigration of gay people to the U.S. This isn't Obama's fault. We do NOT have marriage equality in this country, not even in the six states that allow same-sex marriage. NO republican, including tea party scumbags and the civil libertarian leadership under Ron Paul support repeal of DOMA. At least Obama has said it's unconstitutional. GOPRouders do NOT support repeal of DOMA either.

    Posted by: Robert in NYC | Aug 9, 2011 10:21:46 AM

  11. There is something you all can do (besides making those calls..)
    Give to Immigration Equality

    They do amazing work.

    Posted by: JesryPo | Aug 9, 2011 10:22:21 AM

  12. One tiny silver lining here is that at least the non-US partner is Australian. Even though they won't recognise the marriage in Australia, they're very good about granting residency to same sex partners.

    Posted by: Brian | Aug 9, 2011 10:24:26 AM

  13. Where is our "fierce advocate" in the White House now? Oh, I forgot, he's no longer fierce and he's no longer our advocate.

    Posted by: jason | Aug 9, 2011 10:30:57 AM

  14. Devastating. Sad. At least Pelosi is on it. This case needs national attention. Makes my blood boil! Effing doma strikes again!

    Posted by: kodiak | Aug 9, 2011 10:32:19 AM

  15. Thank you, Barry, for lying to us when you told us in your campaign that you would repeal DOMA.

    Thank you, Barry, also for having your DOJ viciously fight to defend DOMA for two years, comparing our marriages to incest and pedophilia, and lying -- for two years -- about how you had no choice but to defend the law.

    And then, Barry, you only admitted that you were lying all along and never had to defend the law once the Republicans were safely in control of Congress and there was no chance whatsoever for repeal of DOMA.

    This bigotry is all yours, Barry. This couple's misery is all yours. When this man loses his husband and his primary caregiver and the USA loses an upstanding citizen, the shame, also, Barry, is all yours.

    Barack Hussein Obama is not your friend. What the hell more does he have to do to you before some of you finally get that? Does he have to come for your husband, too?

    Posted by: ohplease | Aug 9, 2011 10:34:19 AM

  16. Yes, they could go to Australia, where you can sponsor your same-sex partner for permanent residency, but why should they? They have built a life together here. This disgusting treatment would never happen to a heterosexual couple.
    It costs same-sex bi-national couples many thousands of dollars to be able to stay together, while heterosexual bi-national couples pay a small fraction to petition for residency, and then the foreign partner is allowed to work here; something that in the bi-national situation isn't granted......more financial burden! I know about this because I am the foreign half of a same-sex bi-national couple. I am here legally, but the financial burden is crippling us as it is with so many others in the same situation. Next year I could be in the same position that Anthony is in right now.
    DOMA needs to die now once and for all. The likes of John Boehner and Paul Clements (his legal lackey) are lying their heads off with same old homophobic lies they have been spouting for years on why they think DOMA should remain law.
    It is discrimination and victimization pure and simple. Obama has the power to put an end to this here and now!!!
    We cannot waste a moment more, otherwise it could slip away from us next year.

    Posted by: Janice | Aug 9, 2011 10:58:55 AM

  17. Ohplease just couldn't resist throwing in the "Hussein"

    Posted by: Mike | Aug 9, 2011 11:01:57 AM

  18. 'pleas', please. (line 15, not including the headline)

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Aug 9, 2011 11:05:20 AM

  19. God forbid a gay couple with a more successful marriage than 99% of straight couples be allowed to remain together in this country.

    It kills me how "traditional marriage" advocates can spend so much energy fighting against gay people who wish to be in monogamous committed relationships, yet never put an ounce of effort into banning divorce -- which actually DOES impact straight marriages and breaks up families.

    Well, at least Nancy Pelosi is involved in this case. She might not be everybody's cup of tea, but she is a very determined lady and a vigilant worker.

    Posted by: sparks | Aug 9, 2011 11:12:29 AM

  20. This is just the icing on the cake of why I want to punch the US government in the face today.

    Posted by: Heartsleeved | Aug 9, 2011 11:40:16 AM

  21. Thank the Dems for not getting rid of DOMA while they had supermajority. With DOMA in place, we will continue to be treated as second class citizens.

    Posted by: Shane | Aug 9, 2011 11:40:16 AM

  22. America should be embarrassed - but why isn't this couple migrating to Australia where they would easily obtain a de facto visa to work and live (with health insurance - BONUS!)
    ?? Australia does have this ugly red headed, red-necked (oh, to hear her speak!!) atheist woman against gay marriage (irony personified) but at least they could be together.
    More importantly, the AUS $$ is worth more than the US $$!

    Posted by: Jesse Archer | Aug 9, 2011 11:52:16 AM

  23. I advise them to move to Australia.

    The United States is going down the crapper.

    My husband and I are starting to talk of moving to Canada.

    Posted by: Windy | Aug 9, 2011 12:08:52 PM

  24. This is so wrong! Fight!

    Posted by: Matt26 | Aug 9, 2011 12:16:03 PM

  25. Are there any accommodating lesbians out there who want to marry the Australian guy?

    Posted by: Lee | Aug 9, 2011 12:28:03 PM

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