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Binational couples could find relief in review of pending deportation cases

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Relief may be possible for married, binational couples when the foreign-born spouse is in deportation proceedings. From Chris Johnson:

Under the new guidance, immigration authorities within the Obama administration will conduct a case-by-case review of the approximately 300,000 undocumented immigrants facing possible deportation to determine which cases are high priority and low priority. Those who have been convicted of crimes or pose a security risk will be a higher priority for deportation, while those who are deemed lower priority will be taken out of the pipeline.

Administration officials will weigh a person’s ties and contributions to the community and family relationships. During an on background conference call with media outlets on Thursday, a senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said these criteria are inclusive of LGBT families and same-sex couples.

“The prosecutorial discretion memo provides for the use of discretion for people with strong community ties, with community contributions and with family relationships,” the official said. “We consider LGBT families to be families in this context.”
That's as it should be. LGBT families should be families in every context. I listened to the press call and the "Senior Administration Official" was pretty clear that same-sex families meet the criteria for discretion.

There are some still concerns, as explained by Immigration Equality
“While Immigration Equality has not yet seen the written guidelines that will accompany the changes the agency has announced, our understanding is that the guidance is meant to be LGBT-inclusive,” Ralls said.

But Ralls said further action is needed because the new guidance doesn’t affect bi-national couples who need relief, but haven’t received a deportation order or removal notice. LGBT immigration organizations have been calling on the Obama administration is issue a blanket moratorium on DOMA-related deportations to ensure that married bi-national couples can stay together in the United States.

“Those couples are still waiting for an answer as to how the administration will ensure they remain in the country and are given the same treatment and solutions, under the law, available to straight couples, too,” Ralls said.

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