DOMA and Immigration

Long Beach Immigration Lawyer

Millions of Americans around the country woke in the early hours of the morning on Wednesday, June 29, to read the Supreme Court's released decision on the landmark issue of marriage equality. To the pleasure of many, the United States Supreme Court decided that the Defense of Marriage Act, which had been enacted in 1996 under President Bill Clinton, was unconstitutional. While Americans of all backgrounds celebrated this decision, there were also some who saw its benefit in other areas of the law, specifically as it relates to immigration law.

Prior to the ruling of the Supreme Court on DOMA, current immigration laws prohibited an American citizen from sponsoring a same-sex foreign national spouse for the purpose of obtaining legal status in the country. In the midst of ongoing immigration reform discussions, the inclusion of a clause specific to this one prohibition was likely to stunt any progress that had made way. However, because of the fact that DOMA is now invalidated, this prohibition is no longer a matter of concern and has become a moot issue.

What does this mean for immigrant couples?

Although the Supreme Court may not have intended to make such an impact on immigration policy, its actions inadvertently opened the door for the reunification of hundreds of same-sex couples that had been separated by national status. Since federal law is thought to now treat all married couples equally, an American citizen can sponsor a same-sex spouse for the purpose of immigration in the same way that a husband could sponsor his wife prior to the decision.

At the Law Office of Angela Novas McGill, we are dedicated to helping people from all country with their immigration needs. Call our Long Beach immigration lawyer today to learn more!