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New Jersey Immigration Judge Halts Deportation of Gay Husband

On Behalf of | May 19, 2011 | Immigration Reform |

An immigration judge in Newark recently suspended the deportation of a Venezuelan man who is married to an American man after intervention from the federal government, The New York Times reports.New Jersey Immigration lawyers work to explore every avenue to keep you in the United States legally. Every case is unique and although it can be a scary prospect to have government authorities telling you they want you to leave your home, family and business, you can fight it. Immigration laws are constantly changing and with new politicians often comes hope for changes that will improve the chances of immigrants staying in the country legally.Henry Velandia, a Venezuelan dancer, was legally married last year in Connecticut to Josh Vandiver, a Princeton graduate student. But under the Defense of Marriage Act, immigration authorities don’t recognize same-sex marriages in immigration proceedings.The break for Velandia came when U.S. Attorney General Eric Hold Jr. intervened in an unrelated case involving a same-sex couple, suspending the deportation of a man to Ireland and sending his case back to the immigration appeals court. In Matter of Dorman, 25 I&N Dec. 485 (A.G. 2011), the Attorney General asked the court to consider several possible grounds on which the Irishman might qualify for legal residency.Based on that case, Judge Alberto J. Riefkohl in Newark postponed Velandia’s deportation until the end of the year so he can allow the attorney general and appeals court to determine whether a gay partner will be eligible under some circumstances for residency. The Obama administration has said the Defense of Marriage Act discriminates against gay people.This is a big development for same-sex partners who are battling in immigration court. While the news doesn’t mean all New Jersey immigrants who marry a U.S. citizen of the same gender will have an automatic path to citizenship, it is a step in the right direction.Immigration law is complicated and requires more than filling out stacks of paperwork. Green card applicants in New Jersey must appear for an interview and that requires important preparation. Middlesex immigration attorneys will not only help you prepare for your interview, but be there with you during the interview, perhaps the most crucial step of the process.The New Jersey immigration attorneys at Lee & Garasia, Attorneys at Law, help individuals throughout New Jersey, including Union, Monmouth, Middlesex, Essex and Bergen counties. Call 732-516-0049 for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights.