Immigration | News

New Immigration Rules Could Help Same-Sex Couples

Stopdeportations The Obama administration announced yesterday that immigration officials, guided by the Department of Homeland Security, can now use "prosecutorial discretion" to stop deportation for illegal immigrants who pose no threat to the nation.

While the move will largely benefit people who illegally entered the United States as children, Metro Weekly reports that the new policy will also help same-sex binational couples:

In response to a question from Metro Weekly about the impact of today's decision on same-sex couples, a second senior administration official said, "The prosecutorial discretion memo provides for the use of discretion for people with strong community ties, with community contributions and with family relationships. We consider LGBT families to be families in this context."

Asked specifically if that included same-sex couples, the official said, "Yes."
Attorney Lavi Soloway, whose work at Stop the Deportations has resulted in several couples where one partner was facing deportation having the deportation put on hold, called Napolitano's move ''historic.''

He told Metro Weekly, ''By undertaking a review of all pending deportation cases at the highest level and clarifying that existing prosecutorial discretion guidelines include LGBT families, Secretary Napolitano will now have the opportunity to stop every deportation involving a lesbian or gay binational couple.''

Though Obama and company will have to deal with GOP gripes that this is "backdoor amnesty," they will also now be under the progressive microscope as millions watch to see how the administration proceeds on binational same-sex couples.

Hopefully they'll move in the right -- not "Right" -- direction.

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  1. Good. Should be an easy move, especially for married same-sex binational couples in the states where the couples could get them.

    I have stronger feelings on this subject because I've known of two same-sex couples that exaggerated (lied) about the details of their cases to stay in the US, but who cares. If their marriages (or lack of) didn't count, this is a just response.

    Posted by: Paul R | Aug 19, 2011 8:22:24 AM

  2. As part of a binational couple with an American - and I am not in the US right now - I can only welcome all these news...
    I just wish things moved faster so I-and many others in our situation- could stay with my [our]beloved in the USA soon under the wing of the law...


    Posted by: George F | Aug 19, 2011 9:08:39 AM

  3. very good news... :)

    Posted by: Roberto | Aug 19, 2011 9:31:36 AM

  4. And if a republican wins the White House in 2012, these new rules will be immediately overturned, make NO mistake about that, no thanks to gay republicans including gay tea party and civil libertarian scumbags for voting for them in 2011 and 2012.

    Posted by: robert in nyc | Aug 19, 2011 10:07:08 AM

  5. Thank you, President. This is great news!

    Posted by: Married in MA | Aug 19, 2011 10:09:45 AM

  6. I hope this means that couple in San Francisco who recently risked being split apart by this barbaric bigoted oversight will now have a chance to have their case reviewed...

    Posted by: paul | Aug 19, 2011 10:14:57 AM

  7. @ Robert in NYC,

    Well put. Every federal regulation that the executive branch has put in place over the last two and a half years that helps LGBT people would be out the window under a Republican president. Not to mention that the current vigorous legal briefs against DOMA by the Department of Justice would turn into vigorous legal briefs defending DOMA under a Republican president. Not to mention that Supreme Court justice appointments under a Republican would be in the mold of Scalia (appointed by Reagan) and Thomas (appointed by George H. Bush), not in the mold of Sotomayor and Kagan (both appointed by Obama). Any gay voter who would be just fine with all of this is either intellectually challenged or self-loathing, or perhaps both.

    Posted by: Artie Rimbaud | Aug 19, 2011 10:21:58 AM

  8. While any move to equalize the legal treatment of gay and heterosexual families is of course positive, this policy does not seem like a good move. We need to immediately deport all illegal aliens without exception. Anything that slows the deportation of criminal illegal aliens, regardless of their age or family status, weakens our society.

    Posted by: DB | Aug 19, 2011 11:54:33 AM

  9. @DB I agree completely. What some progressives don't want to acknowledge is that this influx of illegals has destroyed the standard of living of the working class in this country and the benefits of their presence have accrued almost entirely to the corporate elite. That most of them are employed while nearly a quarter of US citizens are either unemployed or under-employed tells you all you need to know.

    It will ultimately lead to tragedy for the nation, just as the importation of African slaves did, which is an analagous historical scenario.

    Their offspring are terrible under-achievers academically and are becoming a new underclass.....and as these groups become the majority of the population, the drain on the country's resources and the weakening of its competitiveness that will result will either turn America into a Third World country within a generation....or will turn it into an unliveable cauldron of conflict.....

    The "flash mobs" you have seen recently and the massacre in Norway....along with the debt crisis, the jobs crisis, and the explosion of income inequality are just harbingers of the nightmare that is coming if this goes on any longer.....

    Posted by: Rick | Aug 19, 2011 12:08:48 PM

  10. Cheers to Rick and DB. It's nice to see other independent thinkers out there who don't subscribe to the notion that "I'm gay, therefore I must be super liberal on every single issue."

    While I hope things work out the best for the gay couples in question, the # of them isn't even REMOTELY close to the other illegal immigrants involved here. A GAO study recently tagged the cost of illegal immigrants costings the $12 Billion/ year. We can't afford it.

    Go home and come back legally.

    Posted by: Brian | Aug 19, 2011 12:15:39 PM

  11. @ Rick,

    The elite corporate interests most often infest the Republican Party, but sometimes often the Democratic Party as well. I'm sure those corporate interests want a policy that would ensure an influx of cheap immigrant labor. So how to remove the stranglehold of the corporate elite? Campaign finance reform?

    Posted by: Artie Rimbaud | Aug 19, 2011 12:34:11 PM

  12. I wish they will also stop prosecuting people that run red lights or break into people's homes.After all illegal aliens and reckless drivers and home breakers are all breaking USA laws and under the law are all the same.To create a case of law breakers made immune to the laws of the USA is a very dangerous precedent.Illegal aliens are criminals since they are breaking USA laws and everybody that breaks a law is committing a crime and anybody that commits a crime is a criminal.

    Posted by: Oscar in Miami Beach | Aug 19, 2011 4:00:16 PM

  13. I honestly like this. That they can use discretion to allow people who aren't a threat in is a good move, in my mind.

    If the illegal immigrants are such a blight on our society... why is it that a friend of mine had trouble filling a position for a cook at her chain of restaurants? Their workers took off because of SB1070--whether they were illegal or just furious at it--and yet it took her nearly a month to get any applicants, let alone hire someone.

    Posted by: Yuki | Aug 19, 2011 4:09:10 PM

  14. Those motha' f..kers on the Mayflower were f..kin' illegal aliens.

    I wish the so-called illegal alieans would blow up your f..kin' log cabins.

    Right-wing homosexuals are a real drag--and no where near as fierce as RuPaul.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Aug 19, 2011 4:13:55 PM

  15. I see the Comments on Towleroad have been taken over today by trolls from WND...I'm talking to you DB, Rick and Brian. Hating on the brown-skinned people..always a fun pastime.

    I don't care if you're queer or not; a Right-wing scumbag is a still a Right-wing scumbag, even if he takes it up the ass.

    Posted by: RWG | Aug 19, 2011 4:38:57 PM

  16. RWG, you are being ridiculous. "Hating on the brown-skinned people"? No one here is suggesting that white illegal aliens are not criminals on the same basis as black, Indian, or mestizo illegal aliens. Also, it is black and other racial minority Americans who suffer the most from the negative externalities of the illegal alien invaders (e.g. unemployment, lowered wages, reduced health care capacity, crime, etc.). Additionally, liberals, conservatives, and moderates all support the rule of law and the fundamental right to control migration, crime, and citizenship. It is not a right-wing or left-wing issue - it is a human issue.

    Posted by: DB | Aug 19, 2011 4:48:13 PM

  17. @DB RWG is just playing the cynical game these people always play. Try to divert attention from the fact that these people are lawbreakers who are a blight on society by yelling "Racist" and hoping that it will intimidate those it is yelled at.

    What else can they do when all the facts are against them?

    Posted by: Rick | Aug 19, 2011 5:00:45 PM

  18. Deporting all illegal immigrants is simply logistically and financially impossible. Further, it would be a huge disruption to our current and future economy: all those "lazy" illegals are cleaning our houses, picking our crops, and making hotel beds—and paying taxes (income and sales); our pay-it-forward social security system needs more young workers, not less!

    Posted by: David R. | Aug 19, 2011 5:11:29 PM

  19. @David R. You don't have to deport them; just enforce the existing laws against employers who hire them and make the employers criminally liable for it and the problem solves itself. Denied paid employment, they will leave of their own accord.

    By the way, go into regions of the country where there are still few illegals and you will find US citizens making hotel beds, cleaning houses, and working at McDonald's. So the argument that illegals are "needed" is utter nonsense. They are only "needed" by greedy corporate a-holes who want to increase their profits by paying crappy wages rather than decent wages, the well-being of their fellow citizens be damned.

    All these people will ultimately do is turn our own country into a Third World dump of the sort they themselves came from--if you don't think that is the case, drive around southern California and look at the neighborhoods that the second- and third-generations of them live in and you will see evidence of it.

    And one of these days, they will turn on those good politically-correct white liberals living in mansions in Beverly Hills and Brentwood and attack them directly--indeed, the "flash mob" phenomenon may be the front end of that.....Maybe that is what it will take for the corporate elite to come to the realization that they are not going to be immune to the effects of the problem their greed created.....

    Posted by: Rick | Aug 19, 2011 5:30:14 PM

  20. David R., the unemployment rate is 9.1%. If the illegal aliens left, then Americans would take those jobs. Employers might have to offer better wages and benefits, but that would be a positive development.

    Posted by: DB | Aug 19, 2011 5:46:52 PM

  21. @DB "The Americans would take those jobs"? You're kidding right? Yeah, I don't think American would take their jobs because they don't want to do it not because of wages. They rather work at office then at the orchard.

    Posted by: Ozzy | Aug 19, 2011 6:52:49 PM

  22. That class of Americans are mostly very lazy citizens by nature. As long as they have five bucks in the pocket for the beer, they care less about the rest. I mean, c'mon! Government pays for their housing, food and medical expenses. Where foreigners have to work their butts off to support themselves and their families here and abroad. They pay for everything in CASH! They do pay back to community indirectly through sales taxes, car registrations, housing rentals, etc. All they want is stability and being in good health. The rest they can EARN themselves by working ALOT sometimes multiple jobs! They don't expect neither their own government or US government to pay for them! They truly are amazing people (most of them, there are bad apples everywhere). If there was some sort of government program of giving some sort of legal status they would help local economy significantly. It would give a major boost for local and national economies thru home sales, auto sales, income tax collections etc. Please don't judge them, there's a reason why these people made one of the biggest decisions of their life to move to this land-for better life for themselves and their children. And they work VERY hard to be able to move forward in their new life in the new country!!!

    Posted by: Resoffla | Aug 20, 2011 12:12:53 AM

  23. While this seems good news, it still leaves the thousands if not tens of thousands of us who are married in limbo, living outside the US, with a non-US spouse, and having no ability to live in the US with that spouse on a permanent basis. You've read this correctly -- we are a same sex couple, holding a valid California marriage license. We have a stateless marriage. It is time we rid ourselves of DOMA, and it is time we recognize that all lawfully married couples should have the same status under our immigration laws.

    Posted by: Stateless Marriage | Aug 20, 2011 2:29:12 AM

  24. All these administrative reforms from the Obama WH are welcome, even if they are almost three years too late.

    None are permanent and all are based on Obama's steeply sliding poll numbers.

    Posted by: Bill Perdue | Aug 20, 2011 9:46:05 AM

  25. Rick is a bigot.

    No human beings are illegal, except maybe the clergy of all cults.

    Workers escaping the devastation imposed on their nations by NAFTA should be given dual citiaenship and all the rights and privileges enjoyed by worker born in the US, who are all the descendents of unwanted European criminals and malcontents.

    Posted by: Bill Perdue | Aug 20, 2011 9:51:20 AM

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