San Francisco Treat

Bi-National Gay Couple In SF Gets Reprieve From Deportation

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

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  • DenverBarbie

    If this is motivation to stay vocal and keep fighting for equality, I do not know what is!
    Congratulations to Mr. Wells and Mr. Makk! I hope that we find our culture in a place, within two year’s time, that recognizes your relationship as one of love, validity, and importance.
    Sending you both much love and the warmest of wishes! Cheers!

  • JG

    What bothers me about situations like this and others is that it has to take overwhelming public pressure and shaming to get these agencies, companies etc to do the right thing. While I’m happy this couple is getting a much needed relief from this hellish ordeal (I’m going through my own immigration fight right now), I can’t help but wonder about so many other people who don’t have access to powerful congress people and the media and how they just fall through the cracks and we never hear about them.

    That said, once again I’m just so happy for this couple. They can now get back to the more important challenge of staying healthy and living a long happy life together. While my situation doesn’t involve health issues, I know just how stressful the uncertainty can be and any reprieve no matter how temporary provides much needed peace of mind.

  • Coxygru

    Congratulations! May this decision spur more like it.

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