New Immigration Guidelines Provide Same-Sex Couples with More Rights

Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has clarified immigration guidelines to assist in preventing the deportation of partners in long-term same-sex relationships.-Photo from the NYTimes at:

Good news has come for binational same-sex couples, according to, now that the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security has advised immigration agents to provide same-sex couples the same legal advantages as heterosexual binational couples in deportation cases.

Secretary Janet Napolitano made the announcement which boosts the Obama administration’s previous stance on same-sex binational couples promising not to treat the deportation of ¬†foreign born members of a same-sex couple as a priority.

Under the previous guidelines issued in June of last year, immigration agents were permitted to consider “ties and contributions to the community, including family relationships” when evaluating a pending deportation case. Napolitano took the next step and clarified who could be considered under the term “family relationships” specifying that “long-term same-sex partners” were to be included in this category.

This step was of great significance, because now the administration’s promise is in writing and can provide same-sex binational couples with more solid footing in their cases.

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