The recent announcement by the Obama Administration that it has instructed the Attorney General to cease defending Article 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage for Federal purposes as between a man and a woman, has already prompted USCIS to announce that it is placing all same-sex cases on hold. This is good news for same-sex spouses of US citizens who are in removal proceedings, because their cases will now be adjourned pending clarification. And for those US citizens who have pending I-130 Marriage Petitions as well as Adjustment of Status(Green Card) Applications for their same-sex spouses, these cases will not be denied, but placed on hold for now. And no denial means no Notice to Appear in front of an Immigration Judge for removal proceedings.
For same-sex couples who are sick of waiting, this might be the time to consider filing a petition on behalf of your spouse. The Law Offices of Karyn Schiller has provided legal guidance to same-sex couples who have been denied the same right as their straight peers, helping them find creative, legal ways to remain in the country with their loved ones. For the first time in years, I am cautiously optimistic that this might be the start of a new era, in which gay couples will have the same right to live out their lives together without fear of deportation.