Thursday, April 14, 2011
Rep. Zoe Lofgren Letter to the Administration Urges DHS & DOJ to Halt Deportations and Restore Abeyance
The day's other big news was that California Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, who had not previously co-sponsored UAFA, now not only joined her Democratic colleagues in support of the bill, but also took a leadership role in the call for executive branch action in light of the administration's changed position on DOMA. With 48 House members co-signing, Rep. Lofgren today sent a strongly worded letter to Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano and Attorney General Holder urging them to halt deportations of spouses of gay and lesbian Americans and put all green card applications filed by married, same-sex couples into "abeyance," restoring the policy that was announced and then retracted just two weeks ago. Lofgren, who is the ranking minority member on the House Subcommittee on Immigration, joins Senator Kerry (D-Mass) who last week, together with a dozen U.S. Senators, wrote to DHS and DOJ to do the same.
See also, "Immigration Battle Heats Up, The Advocate, April 14, 2011, excerpted here:
"At least one binational gay couple, Henry Velandia and Josh Vandiver, currently face imminent deportation proceedings. Velandia, a Venezuelan citizen, married his American spouse in 2009 in Connecticut, and has a deportation hearing scheduled May 6.
“The administration has both an opportunity and responsibility to complement legislative efforts now by ensuring that all binational couples are protected from deportation or separation until we have achieved inclusion and equality in family-based immigration,” said Lavi Soloway, the couple’s attorney and cofounder of Stop the Deportations. “If the administration fails to act, irreversible legal consequences of deportation will mean that many binational couples and their families will be torn apart permanently and will unable to access the family unification immigration process even after DOMA is repealed or struck down by the Supreme Court."
Both Nadler and Lofgren pushed early for halting deportations in such cases after the administration’s February announcement that it would no longer defend DOMA in pending legal challenges."
at 10:50 AM