Nancy Pelosi might not be Speaker of the House anymore, but she’s still kicking ass: the Congresswoman intervened to help a bi-national couple stay in San Francisco rather than face deportation.
Now together for 19 years, gay couple Bradford Wells and Anthony John Makk were legally married in Massachusetts in 2004. But as Makk is Australian and the Defense of Marriage Act denies federal marriage rights to same sex couples, he was under threat of deportation—despite the fact that Wells suffers from complications from AIDS and Makk is his primary caregiver.
But thanks to the efforts of Pelosi, as well as Sen. Dianne Feinstein and State Sen. Mark Leno, the couple was granted a two-year reprieve. As the San Francisco Chronicle reports:
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a letter to Makk today saying he has been granted “deferred action” on his case for two years. The letter said the action is “an exercise of prosecutorial discretion” that allows the agency not to pursue deportation for a specific period. Makk met multiple conditions of the agency’s new guidelines for immigration agents to prioritize deportation cases, including family ties, status as a primary caregiver, lack of criminal record and his long period of legal residence under a series of visas that eventually expired.
Obviously this isn’t a permanent solution but the deferral can be extended when it expires. Hopefully by then DOMA will be toast.
Pelosi shared the good news with Makk and Wells yesterday. Makk told the Chronicle,“We’re still dizzy from the news—we are elated.”
Images via Bradford Wells