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Idea of the Day: With DOMA’s Repeal, Same-Sex Couples Have Access to Additional Immigration Benefits

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The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, allows U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, to recognize that a same-sex marriage between a citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident and a noncitizen valid in the state where it was celebrated is sufficient to confer immigration benefits. Under DOMA, federal agencies such as USCIS were required to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman, preventing same-sex couples from accessing more than 1,000 federal programs and benefits available to opposite-sex couples.

In an earlier column, we detailed how the Court’s historic ruling would aid lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents, or LPRs, in obtaining immigration visas for their spouses and preventing the separation of their families. While sponsorship for immigration visas is an important benefit and is critical for preserving family unity, it is not the only federal benefit to which LGBT binational families now have access. Other key immigration benefits now available to LGBT binational couples include sponsorship of a spouse’s children and protection of domestic violence survivors from deportation, among others. We detail these newfound protections and benefits below.

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To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education, poverty)
202.478.6331 or apreiss@americanprogress.org

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, health care, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or tcaiazza@americanprogress.org

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues, Legal Progress, Half in Ten Education Fund)
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi (immigration, race and ethnicity)
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or rrosen@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

 

This is part of a regular column: Idea of the Day

For more from the same column, click here