The landmark decision of the US Supreme Court to scrap the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and allow same sex marriage in the entire country has repercussions even to the seemingly irrelevant domain of immigration. If you are a person married to another person with the same sex as you, this article will shed light on what new rights you can enjoy in relation to immigration.
Know Your Rights
You should talk to your immigration lawyer about your rights as an immigrant if you are married to a person of the same sex so that the legal parts can be better explained to you. Here are some new rights for same sex couples born after the Landmark decision.
- The ability to sponsor step children.
When DOMA was still a law, a member of the LGBT community will not be able to sponsor the children of his or her same sex spouse into the US. That is because DOMA prevents their marriage from being recognized by the law. Because of that same sex couples are not allowed to enjoy the sponsorship benefits, which other heterosexual marriages enjoy. The landmark decision to kick DOMA out now gives same sex couples the same benefits and are now able to sponsor the children of their spouses into the US. If you need more information about this, you should talk to an immigration attorney.
- Protecting domestic violence survivors from deportation.
Unfortunately, even same sex marriage is not immune to domestic violence. But what makes it worse for an immigrant same-sex spouse is the fact that because of DOMA , they could not do what heterosexual victims do, which is to self-petition for permanent residency in the US. That is because DOMA prevents him or her from being recognized as legally married. When the Supreme Court decided to strike down DOMA, any same-sex immigrant spouse now can enjoy the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts and are now able to self-petition to void deportation if they leave their abusive partners.
- Admission of same sex fiancées and their children to US.
Before DOMA was buried to the grave, only heterosexual couples can take advantage of the K visa, which allows fiancés of US citizens along with their children to enter the US and stay there as long as the fiancé marries the petitioner within 90 days. Thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision to scrap DOMA, even same-sex fiancés can now access this right. Now same sex families can be together and be given the respect and dignity they deserve as a real family in the US.
Consult an Immigration Lawyer
If any of these new rights is applicable to you and you want to take advantage of these, you should contact a reliable immigration attorney to help you. These lawyers are experts in the fields of immigration so they know the twists and turns of the law. Not only will immigration attorneys explain to you these new immigration rights, they can also help you with your application. If you are in San Diego, you can contact the lawyers of San Diego Immigration Law Center.