Mar 31, 2011 4:43 AM GMT
Immigration Official: "The Hold Is Over"
Posted by Chris Geidner |
March 30, 2011 11:13 AM
The "hold" on same-sex married bi-national couples' green card applications -- celebrated by immigration and LGBT advocates -- is over, according to the spokesman for the agency that processes those requests.
"The guidance we were awaiting ... was received last night, so the hold is over, so we're back to adjudicating cases as we always have," U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services press secretary Christopher Bentley told Metro Weekly this morning.
The agency will continue to "enforce the law," he says, which means that the Defense of Marriage Act -- which prohibits the government from recognizing same-sex marriages -- prevents those green card applications from being approved.
In the past, they had been denied because of DOMA, but the administration's Feb. 23 decision to stop defending Section 3 of DOMA raised hopes for some that the USCIS and other immigration agencies would at least put such cases on hold while the constitutionality of DOMA was resolved.
The USCIS raised those hopes further when Bentley told Metro Weekly and, later, other news outlets on Monday, March 28, "USCIS has issued guidance to the field asking that related cases be held in abeyance while awaiting final guidance related to distinct legal issues."