Binational Same-Sex Couple Deals With Deportation During Holiday Season

A binational same-sex couple that has been together for over a decade and married in Vermont earlier this year may be split up before the end of the year because the federal government does not recognize their relationship under the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. Frances Herbert had sponsored her Japanese wife Takako Ueda for citizenship, but the couple received a letter from immigration services rejecting the application and “telling them that Ueda had to leave the country within 30 days. Ueda’s student visa expired in July.” “Your spouse is not a person of the opposite sex,” the letter said. “Therefore, under the DOMA, your petition must be denied.” Immigration lawyers are hopeful that the couple is granted “prosecutorial discretion” and their case is either dismissed or the deportation notice is not enforced. Stil, until DOMA is fully repealed, binational same-sex couples will remain in legal limbo.