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Same Sex Green Cards by Marriage

On June 26, 2013 the Supreme Court overruled the Defense of Marriage Act of California (DOMA) declaring it unconstitutional because DOMA denied same sex couples the right to marry. Same sex marriages are now entitled to federal benefits equal to those of heterosexual married couples to include immigration benefits such as green cards. The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, has already confirmed that the Immigration Service would afford same sex couples who are married legally in a State such as California, New York or Massachusetts the right to apply for immigration benefits for the immigrant spouse.

Under the Constitution if the same sex couple marries in a State where it is legal the couple does not have to live in that State. Under the Constitution every State in the U.S. must give full faith and credit to marriages performed between same sex couples in a State where it is legal. If a same sex couple lives in South Carolina but goes to Massachusetts to legally marry South Carolina must accord full recognition to this marriage in South Carolina. This is in the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution. That requires each State in the Union to respect the laws of every other State.

The Supreme Court decision and the Immigrations acceptance of it benefits a gay or lesbian couple who may now marry in the U.S. and then expect to receive an approved Alien Relative petition, and permanent residence to the immigrant spouse.

Apart from same sex couples having the right to file for an Alien Relative petitions and Adjustment of Status and/or for a Waiver for undocumented aliens who entered the U.S. without visas, motions may be made to reopen previous Orders of Deportation of deportees now who are married to a U.S. citizen.

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