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.
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]