As we all know by now, on February 23, 2011, the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) made the decision to stop defending Section 3 of DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act), raising hopes for same-sex married couples who have applied for green cards. On that day, USCIS began to hold same-sex green card applications in abeyance while it sought guidance as to the meaning of the USDOJ’s announcement. The official word came in last night, March 29, 2011, that the USCIS will continue to deny same-sex bi-national couples, merely based on the enforcement of DOMA. There will be no change, since, according to USCIS press secretary Christopher Bentley, the policy in place is there to enforce the law.
So, USCIS will resume its discriminatory practices of old. What this will mean for future advocates who decide to sue over this matter, only time will tell. But it seems as though the USCIS is begging for a lawsuit on the issue of DOMA . . . or is it that it will take a similar announcement by USDHS Secretary Napolitano as well. Is the DOMA still enforceable if the USDOJ will not put up a defense against it? Stay tuned.
Aime Katambwe, Esq. 3/30/2011
Like us on www.facebook.com/worldesquire