immigration law and gay marriage

Under US immigration law, gay Americans don’t have a right to sponsor their foreign partners for green cards. Instead, these couples must separate or leave the country, forced into exile because their families are not recognized under federal law. In San Jose, Judy Rickard will spend Thanksgiving without her partner Karin, who is a UK citizen. Judy took early retirement from her job so she could be with her partner. Though Karin has been able to remain in the US for six months each year, thanks to a tourist visa, the couple were forced to live abroad the remainder of the year. When Karin was forced to return to Britain earlier this year, however, Judy had to remain behind. Now, they will spend the holidays apart, while confronting a painful choice together: Will Judy sell her home and relocate abroad? And if she does, how will she maintain ties with her family — including her elderly parents — here in the US? Each day, more and more binational couples are moving abroad, as 19 countries allow them to keep their families together. While many nations have amended their immigration laws to recognize lesbian and gay families (with Ireland being just the latest to do so), the US has not, yet. (excerpts from huff post) NOTE: lest anyone think this is an issue that is partisan, go read up on Ted Olson and his plans to convince SCOTUS that banning gay marriage is unconstitutional. Then talk to Dick Cheney. This ain’t about politics. It’s just common sense.

Written by: Harlan York

Immigration Attorney Harlan York is Former Chair, Immigration Section, NJ State Bar Association and Former Co-Chair, NY State Bar Association CFLS Immigration Committee. Mr. York appeared on National Television on CBS This Morning with Charlie Rose and Primer Impacto on Univision, as well as Telemundo, NBC, and PBS. He was honored as First Ever Immigration Lawyer of The Year in NJ by Best Lawyers.

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