Queens Lesbian Couple Among First to Benefit from New Federal Deportation Policy
After a two-year battle, two lesbians from Queens, NY are among the first couples benefiting from a new federal deportation policy.
After a two-year battle a lesbian couple from Queens, NY are among the first to benefit from a new federal deportation policy, according to NY Daily News.
Monica Alcota, who is Argentina, faced deportation from the US for overstaying a tourist visa, despite being married to Cristina Ojeda, an American citizen. Earlier this week, the couple’s lawyer, Lavi Soloway, got word that Alcota’s case was closed on November 30.
The federal government said in closing Alcota’s case that, for now, she may stay in the country, although she does not have a path to citizenship yet. Her green card bid in April was denied due to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) barring same-sex couples from immigration benefits.
Lawyers from the Obama Administration are no longer defending DOMA in court. Soloway asked that Alcota’s case be closed under this new policy that allows some undocumented immigrants who are law-abiding and have close ties to the country to stay on a temporary basis. Alcota’s main tie is her wife, Ojeda.
Soloway is urging Homeland Security to provide lawyers and immigration judges with specific instructions regarding cases similar to Alcota’s as a way to make sure same-sex couples are not overlooked by feds in reviewing deportation cases.
The NY Daily News reports Homeland Security officials noted “ties and contributions to the community” are to be considered for everyone facing deportation in an October 25 letter to Rep. Jarrold Nadler.