Fierce Advocate’s Administration Cites DOMA, Denies Immigration Benefits to Gay Married Couple
The Obama Administration has denied the request of a married couple in San Francisco, ordering the expulsion of one spouse who is the primary caregiver of his legally married husband with AIDS.
Team Obama is incapable of valuing our actual relationships, while making pretty speeches about DOMA’s unconstitutionality.
Bradford Wells, a U.S. citizen, and Anthony John Makk, a citizen of Australia, were married seven years ago in Massachusetts. They have lived together 19 years, mostly in an apartment in the Castro district. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services denied Makk’s application to be considered for permanent residency as a spouse of an American citizen, citing the 1996 law that denies all federal benefits to same-sex couples.
Mr Wells states his case plainly:
“I’m married just like any other married person in this country,” Wells said. “At this point, the government can come in and take my husband and deport him. It’s infuriating. It’s upsetting. I have no power, no right to keep my husband in this country. I love this country, I live here, I pay taxes and I have no right to share my home with the person I married.”
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a part of Homeland Security, stated they do not find the relationship to be “petitionable:”
The agency’s decision cited the Defense of Marriage Act as the reason for the denial of an I-130 visa, or spousal petition that could allow Makk to apply for permanent U.S. residency. “The claimed relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary is not a petitionable relationship,” the decision said. “For a relationship to qualify as a marriage for purposes of federal law, one partner must be a man and the other a woman.”
Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder decided earlier this year that the law, commonly known as DOMA, is unconstitutional on equal protection grounds and that the administration would no longer defend it in court. House Republicans hired an outside counsel to defend it instead. However, the administration said it would continue to enforce the law, while exercising discretion on a case-by-case basis.
A case-by-case basis that appears to exclude a legally married gay couple who have been together 19 years, one of whom is the AIDS caregiver for a United States citizen, along with owning rental property in the United States and starting a business here. Surely this is the kind of case where case-by-case basis discretion might apply. Why would this Australian’s deportation be prioritized? Aren’t there other, higher priority immigration matters?
Not in the Obama Administration, whose leader delights in happy talk at cocktail parties with DC-important LGBT apologists for his behavior, promising the moon on DOMA in the abstract, while acting against a legally married couple facing separation at the end of this month, via deportation. Obama’s ICE director has provided guidance to local agency heads about which cases deserve the full attention of their offices:
The memorandum said prosecutions should seek to promote “national security, border security, public safety and the integrity of the immigration system.”
Makk meets several of the circumstances specified in the memorandum. Aside from being a spouse of an American citizen, he is also the primary caretaker of a citizen, has no criminal history, and has legally resided in the country under various visas for many years.
The Obama Administration may love our gay votes, and they may love our gay money, but this single example proves how shabbily Team Obama treats our actual gay selves.