Recently, President Obama has expressed his view in support of same-sex marriage.This has raised a lot of questions in the Christian community as to his religious convictions. Some have asked what bible is the president reading? while others have questioned is political agenda.
My goal in this blog post is not to explore the president’s view from a religious or political point of view but rather from the Immigration Law point of view.
What does the president’s view on same-sex marriage mean for the United States Immigration Law?
Under the US federal law, marriage is defined as a union between two people of the opposite sex. Meaning between a man and a woman.
The US government ordinarily will not interfere in the love life and affairs of its citizens. However, where a US citizen or non US citizen falls in love with a foreigner and intends to establish a life with the foreigner in the United States, such marriage or relationship may become the basis of an Immigration application for either a Green card, Immigrant visa, K1 fiance(e) visa, K3 non Immigrant visa for the spouse of a US citizen or any other qualifying dependent visa.
Under the US Immigration Law,for such marriage or relationship to be recognized for Immigration purpose, it must be between a man and a woman.
Same-sex relationships or marriages are not recognized under the US federal Immigration Laws even though valid and recognized under state Laws.
There have been challenges against United States citizenship & Immigration Services- USCIS by same-sex couples whose Immigration applications have been denied and hence denied the opportunity of having a joint and shared life together in the United States.
The validity and constitutionality of the federal definition of marriage have been challenged. The First Circuit Court of appeal in Boston on May 31st 2012, declared the Federal Law defining marriage unconstitutional for not recognizing same-sex marriage and depriving them of federal benefits.
Read more on the court decision here.
How will this affect applications for benefit under the US Immigration Law? Time will tell.
All roads leads to the US Supreme court on this issue.
With President Obama in support of same-sex marriage, who knows, this may be a major breakthrough for same-sex couples as this may create a pathway for a change in the federal definition of marriage to accommodate same-sex couples and hence make them eligible for Immigration benefits.