Obama Promised To Stop Deporting LGBT Spouses, But Forgot To Tell Immigration Officials

In August when Obama promised that the Department of Homeland Security would stop tearing apart “low priority” LGBT bi-national couples and focus on “high-priority” security risks instead, we cheered. But now the DHS has just released guidelines to attorneys with U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement and immigrants in same-sex relationships with U.S. citizens are not listed as those who could be considered low priority. Have we just been played?

According to Chris Johnson at The Washington Blade, even though LGBT couples don’t get explicitly mentioned in the DHS guidelines, the guidelines do identify as another low category an undocumented immigrant “who has a very long-term presence in the United States, has a immediate family member who is a United States citizen, and has established compelling ties and made compelling contributions to the United States.”

A DHS official who spoke on condition of anonymity said:

“One of the strongest reasons why we go with a family approach — focusing on the family relationship and not a marital relationship — is because we want to include individuals who are in long standing domestic partnerships so we can capture more same-sex couples. We used the term the family members largely so that domestic partnerships would be included in the standard.”

That’s nice and all. But Steve Ralls, spokesperson for Immigration Equality explains why the new guidelines should have explicitly mentioned LGBT couples:

“By declining to address, in writing, the unique circumstances surrounding those couples, DHS has left too much room for interpretation and left too many couples vulnerable to separation… the fact that [the] DHS does not say so in its written guidelines, leav[es] the definition of ‘immediate family member’ open to interpretation by DHS and ICE officers. That’s problematic because, without that explicit guidance, there is no documentation mandating that officers use an inclusive definition as they review pending deportation cases.”

Ralls goes onto say that without such explicit documentation, a foreign-born spouse could get shipped back to their homophobic country of origin.

We guess we’ll have to wait until the next high profile bi-national deportation case to see if Obama will make good on his seemingly weak fall season promise.

Image via mediajorgenyc

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  • Jim Hlavac

    Excuse me — but I find it amazing that any gay man thinks the Democrats are “for” gay men — Obama, Biden, Pelosi and Hilary Clinton all said frequently as they ran in 2008 — “No gay marriage.” Oh, sure, pick on Republicans, I do — but really — do you all truly think this is D vs. R — really? Egad — 95% of African-Americans, some 65% of Latinos vote Democratic — all are vociferously against gay folks — Democrat Ruben “gays worthy of death” Diaz ring a bell?

    I find it amazing that you all breathlessly await the One’s “evolving” on the issue — the whole nation is evolving — argue to your Democrats — Let us people go! But no, you await something which they have shown no intent of doing.

    And then, in a pandering gesture they “repeal” DOMA in the Senate committee, which DIane Feinstein admits her own Democratic run Senate won’t take up — and you talk of “hallelujah.”

    Meanwhile I’m supposed to be all agog over Transsexuals who are heteros trapped in the wrong body — and the “gay friendly” media give endless time to trannies – and not a moment to us — other than, as liberal NPR did — to compare us to child molesters –while no one likes to mention that Democrat Clinton signed DOMA and DADT into law — to give us some “support,” perhaps.

    Gay men who subscribe to either party as “for” us or “against” us are out of their minds — they are neither “for” us — but rather, will pander to which ever votes they think they can get.

    Meanwhile, an African-American gay Republican gets elected to mayor in New Jersey, and the gay world is oblivious. It’s mind boggling. Do you all know the word “duped”?

  • Ronbo

    Is that Candidate Obama (promised not to sign the extension of the Bush tax cuts) or President Obama (signed the extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy).

    I get them confused, they look so much alike. But that Candidate Obama is so much nicer than that asshole, President Obama. Money and power changes people, I guess.

  • Ronbo

    Jim Hlavac is spot-on. Candidate Obama supported marriage equality. Too bad all we got when we voted for Candidate Obama was President Obama. You know, the man who changed his mind regarding marriage equality. Dems and Repubs who are of, by and for the wealthy aren’t interested in anything but our wealth.

  • the crustybastard

    Am I surprised Obama screwed gay people over?

    Not anymore. Not even a little.

  • ewe

    The Bummer is going to screw every american citizen by making it mandatory people pay for health insurance even when they won’t use it. For example some healthy 21 year old. That is how he will enrich the insurance companies. It is no different than what the evil Bill Clinton did by making it impossible to declare bankruptcy on school loans while his generation bailed out. It is the DemoCons way of continuing to enslave the young. No surprise. The Bummer has been a horrible dangerous disappointment. To anyone who says that the fact he has assisted with the equality of gay americans is a reason to support him i say fuck off. I expect the same rights as heterosexuals and would prefer fighting in the courts where we have been over that issue anyway. The day we have to depend on one person for equality is the day we live in a totalitarian state.

  • ewe

    The presidency has turned into an extended deluxe luxury hotel visit. Show him the exit.

  • Jeff

    Fuck you Barry. You’re not a fierce advocate for LGBT rights and never have been, editing out the non-discrimination clause in the DADT bill which rendered it useless. I agree with Jim Hlavac and Chris Di Spirito. I voted for him once but I’m not going to vote for him again but he’s going to be a 1 term president.

  • Wendy's bruised knees

    @Jeff: No, fuck YOU, you racist shithead.

  • Reason

    @Jim Hlavac: Your statement is loaded with inacuracies. No need to say more.

    @ewe: you are clueless, there is 21 year olds with cancer and other ailments. Besides the point is for everyone to pay into the system so when they get older and more susptable to diseases so there is money in the system to take care of them. Would you agree with people signing up for social security at 64? Why would healthcare be any different.

  • ewe

    @Wendy’s bruised knees: oh girl, do defend your accusation. Your idiotic rhetoric apparently works to silence the dumb ones you surround yourself with but what you said to Jeff is completely unfounded. Got that Cunt? What exactly the fuck do you mean by what you said to Jeff. It’s you on the defense now bitch. Explain yourself.

  • ewe

    @Reason: Yeah right. You keep that stock with Goldman Sachs honey.

  • Mike in Asheville

    @ewe: Go away troll.

  • Joetx

    @Jim Hlavac: You’re a racist.

    We have PLENTY of allies who are people of color.

    And Maine, which is OVERWHELMINGLY white, repealed the same-sex marriage law.

    In fact, in every state that has an anti-SSM amendment, the state has a white majority.

    Go peddle your racism somewhere else, you homophobe posing as a gay man.

  • Lyn

    I find it funny how gays like the creators of these comments and Dan Savage continue to literally spit on the 1st president in United States history to address gay right in a progressive fashion. But I guess its fine because his term will be over in a year and then we might get a GOP candidate for a president! :) Because you know they just love gay people…

  • lucifer

    Obama has done more for us gay folks than any president so cut him some slack ad stop whining so damn much. I didn’t see you guys attack Bush like this. BACK OFF!!!!

  • Brian

    Another broken promise by Obama that undermines LGBT Americans? I’m losing count — we have to be into the hundreds by now.


    I guess BHO is the most ANTI-gay POTUS ever.. Sucks to be gay

  • Interesting

    Obots always the masters of the logic. Unless one can prove Obama is the worst on gays ever, one should not criticize him on actual bad policies. With knew. Next, up, unless you can prove robbery is worse than murder, you can’t put someone in jail for robbery.

  • Cam

    “”the guidelines do identify as another low category an undocumented immigrant “who has a very long-term presence in the United States, has a immediate family member who is a United States citizen, and has established compelling ties and made compelling contributions to the United States.”””

    Complete bullshit. Seeing as how under FEDERAL law gay marriage is illegal, their spouse doesn’t count as family. Additionally, if the official investigating them is a bigot, there is nothing they can do.

    Typical White House bullshit. The old “I support you but don’t make me say it or do anything officially.”

    You think they would have learned their lesson from the drubbing in the last election for ignoring the base and the accolades and lack of substantial fallout from the repeal of DADT that Pelosi forced on them.

    Sometimes Obama seems more worried about upsetting one Tea Partier than in pleasing his entire party.

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