Skip to Content

Programs:

LAC Issues Practice Advisory on Immigration Cases Implicating DOMA

Released on Mon, Jun 13, 2011

The American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center (LAC), in conjunction with Immigration Equality, is pleased to announce the release of a new practice advisory: Protecting and Preserving the Rights of LGBT Families: DOMA, Dorman, and Immigration Strategies.

The immigration agencies rely on Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman, in determining whether a marriage is valid for immigration purposes. As a result, lesbian and gay U.S. citizens and permanent residents are barred from successfully petitioning for their spouses. In addition, lesbian and gay noncitizens are precluded from obtaining other immigration benefits, including relief from removal, based on a marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Recent developments, however, suggest that DOMA’s days may be numbered. Already, one district court has concluded that Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional, and the Obama Administration has decided it no longer will defend the law in federal court challenges. 

This Practice Advisory provides ideas for attorneys representing noncitizens whose cases are affected by DOMA. Also read our blog about the immigration implications of DOMA, Pending a Resolution of DOMA, Immigration Judges Should Exercise Discretion to Stay Removal Cases.

For a complete list of all LAC Practice Advisories, please visit our website.

View Release