Friday, February 25, 2011

PRESS RELEASE: Married Gay Couples Challenge DOMA in Immigration Court

Married Gay Couples Challenge DOMA in Immigration Courts Across the Country in a Concerted Effort to End Discrimination and Stop The Deportations of Spouses of Gay and Lesbian Americans

In New York, New Jersey and California three married, same-sex binational couples, two gay male couples and one lesbian couple, are facing Immigration Judges in deportation proceedings. Each will brandish a pending green card petition filed by the American spouse on behalf of the foreign spouse. In each case their lawyer, Lavi Soloway, will argue that deportation proceedings should be halted because the only thing standing between each couple and a green card is the Defense Of Marriage Act which the President and the Attorney General announced this week will no longer be defended in court based on their finding that the statute is unconstitutional.

Noemi Masliah & Lavi Soloway
Soloway, an immigration lawyer and long time gay rights activist, argues that the Department of Homeland Security should cease giving effect to this unconstitutional law and put all deportation proceedings on hold where they involve married gay binational couples, who but for DOMA, would be eligible for green cards on the basis of their marriages. The issue is urgent as deportation carries with it a 10-year ban on returning. This week's news from the Obama administration is a shot in the arm for a strategy that Soloway's law firm launched in October 2010 after a Federal Court judge in Boston struck down Section 3 of DOMA as unconstitutional. Participants in that strategy, the pro bono project known as STOP THE DEPORTATIONS THE DOMA PROJECT, include dozens of gay binational couples facing deportation, separation or exile. The law firm, Masliah & Soloway, whose partners are both gay immigrants who also founded Immigration Equality in 1993, created this pro bono project to raise awareness of the crisis of deportations of spouses of gay and lesbian Americans.

Contact: Lavi Soloway 212-227-9390 or 323-904-4730

stopthedeportations [at]


  1. please, please don't stop the fight, we are living outside the usa because of the same reason, we want to go back but we cant. please make this happen in this life time! please!

  2. I am so fantastically proud to know you
    Inger Knudson

  3. Congratulations on this move. Considering the United States will not defend this unconstitutional law, you may be fighting a fight without an opponent. I fully suspect some group of bigots will try to launch a defense of DOMA, and I hope you are able to get them thrown off the case for lack of standing.

  4. the country and same-sex couples worldwide need more lawyers like you. fight on lavi you are awesome,suzanne.

  5. My Partner and I are facing separation when her Visa is up.
    If we can marry, if she can stay, please let us know. Thank You
    ~Michelle Hinch
    Los Angeles