A coalition of more than 50 LGBT and progressive groups has sent a letter to President Obama asking that he order a hold on the deportations of all gay-married foreign nationals until the Supreme Court issues its ruling on DOMA.
The groups urged the president to “hold in abeyance” cases currently under consideration by federal immigration authorities of United States citizens who are seeking permanent resident visas, known as green cards, for immigrants of the same sex they legally married. The Supreme Court ruling is expected in June. Under the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which Congress passed in 1996, a same-sex marriage cannot be a valid basis for federal benefits, including immigration documents. For an American who marries an immigrant of the opposite sex, obtaining a green card for the spouse is generally a routine and relatively fast procedure. But under the terms of DOMA, as the law is known, Americans cannot obtain green cards, based on their marriage, for foreign spouses of the same sex.