Supreme Court DOMA Decision and Immigration

Today (June 26, 2013), the Supreme Court of the United States struck down a federal provision denying benefits to legally married same-sex couples.  This ruling will now make these married couples eligible for federal benefits and programs previously only available to heterosexual couples, including those related to employment, health, taxes, and other laws.  In the immigration context, this ruling may now allow the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to accept petitions from gay and lesbian Americans that would enable them to sponsor their married partner, a practice currently not allowed by the USCIS.  We will have to wait for the USCIS to officially respond to today’s ruling, but a change in policy to not deny green card applications for these married couples may be coming shortly. Stay tuned!

DOMA – Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 American federal law defining marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman

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