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“They can’t do that in two jurisdictions and not do it in other jurisdictions,” says Christopher Nugent, who chairs the immigrant-rights committee for the American Bar Association and has testified before the Senate on immigrant benefits and DOMA. It has a tremendous impact on so many in the gay and lesbian community.” Vandiver and Velandia are being represented by Lavi Soloway, a leading attorney on GLBT immigration issues.
If this is indeed a national development, he says, it will change his strategy in the case—and likely do the same for scores of couples.
Most gay and lesbian couples, Soloway says, have been unlikely even to file a green-card petition.
Only 7.5% of LGB singles believe sexual orientation is determined by experience alone.
And those, like Velandia, who are already in the deportation process, could have their deportation postponed while the case is being held.
Judges would still have discretion, but they tend to be sympathetic when marriage to a U.
USCIS press secretary Christopher Bentley responded to detailed requests for comment with an emailed statement.
"We have not implemented any change in policy and intend to follow the president's directive to continue enforcing the law," the statement said.