Immigrant from Philippines seeks legal status through same-sex marriage

An immigrant from the Philippines filed a lawsuit seeking legal right to stay in the United States based on her same-sex marriage to an American citizen, reported the Chicago Tribune.

Plaintiffs Jane DeLeon, an immigrant from the Philippines, her son Martin Aranas, 25, and DeLeon’s U.S. spouse Irma Rodriguez challenged the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

DeLeon married her American wife in 2008, when it was briefly legal to do so in the state of California, should not be denied immigration rights that heterosexual couples receive and should not be deported, her lawyers are arguing in a lawsuit, according to MSNBC.

Peter Schey, executive director of the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law and the lead attorney in the case, said the waiver DeLeon was seeking to stay in the country was often granted to heterosexual couples.

“Our immediate concern is with the failure of the administration to implement a policy to provide protection from deportation for immigrants in same-sex marriages, as they’ve done recently for undocumented youth,” Schey said.

Six states and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriage in the United States.


About tanialara

Tania Lara has a vast experience working as a journalist in Mexico and the U.S. reporting in-depth about the economic contributions and realities of Mexican immigrants. This summer, she will be covering border issues and elections for the 21st Century Border Initiative blog. Her stories about complex cross border matters have been published in Spanish-language media outlets including CNN México, Expansión, and ¡Ahora Sí!, as well as the English-language newspaper The Austin American-Statesman.
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