Secretary of Homeland Security Janet
Napolitano on Monday affirmed that gay Americans can now sponsor an
immigrant spouse for citizenship.
The announcement comes just days after
the Supreme Court ruled a section of the Defense of Marriage Act
(DOMA) unconstitutional and that the federal government must
recognize the legal marriages of gay couples.
“After last week's decision by the
Supreme Court holding that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act
(DOMA) is unconstitutional, President Obama directed federal
departments to ensure the decision and its implication for federal
benefits for same-sex legally married couples are implemented swiftly
and smoothly,” Napolitano said in a statement. “To that end,
effective immediately, I have directed U.S. Citizenship and
Immigration Services (USCIS) to review immigration visa petitions
filed on behalf of a same-sex spouse in the same manner as those
filed on behalf of an opposite-sex spouse.”
On Friday, the USCIS immigration
services notified a gay couple from Florida that their marriage-based
green card petition had been approved.
couple's marriage-based green card petition approved.)