Feds Recognize Gay Marriages Performed In States Where Legal, May Prevent Deportation

July 29, 2013

Gays who marry legally elsewhere may not get the state of Arizona to recognize their unions, but last month's Supreme Court ruling, which struck down parts of the Defense of Marriage Act, says the federal government has to honor decisions in states where gay marriage is legal.

And, new guidelines from Customs and Immigration Enforcement say couples who wed where it's legal will be recognized as married, no matter where they live. Shiu-Ming Cheer, an attorney with the National Immigration Law Center, says that could help prevent deportation.

“If you can show where your U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident spouse would suffer extreme and unusual hardship should you be deported, that would be a defense and a way for somebody to stay in the U.S.,” Cheer said.

ICE also says it will reopen spousal visa requests by same-sex couples which were denied before the Supreme Court ruling.

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