Is Attorney General Eric Holder Ready to Change Immigration Policy on Same Sex Marriage

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Attorney Lavi Soloway tells Metro Weekly that Henry Velandia’s deportation proceedings have been adjourned, in part, because of Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to vacate the Board of Immigration Appeals decision in another immigration case involving a same-sex couple on Thursday. Moreover, Soloway says, “The government attorney agreed to adjourn the immigration case.”

Velandia, who is from Venezuela, is married to Josh Vandiver of Colorado. The couple was married in Connecticut and live in New Jersey, and Vandiver has filed a petition seeking a marriage-based green card for Velandia, an I-130visa  petition based on the gay couple’s marriage.

Speaking with Soloway, their attorney in this matter, after the hearing, he tells Metro Weekly the immigration judge adjourned the deportation proceedings, which will place the matter back on the “master calendar,” which is more of a status conference and, more importantly for Velandia and Vandiver, removes the “immediate threat” of deportation or removal from the United States.

“The [immigration] judge said at the outset that he wanted to deal with the question of whether the case should be adjourned before we discussed anything else,” he says. “Despite the fact that he had earlier twice denied our motions for continuance. At this time, he essentially reversed himself.”

Of the reasons, Soloway says, “The first reason that he granted an adjournment was that the I-130 petition filed by Josh for Henry was still pending and he felt that it was appropriate to let the U.S. CIS to adjudicate that petition, and that it would be inappropriate to move forward until that happened.”

The second reason the judge cited, Soloway says, was Holder’s May 5 decision to vacate a decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals related to the application of Paul Wilson Dorman, in which the BIA had applied Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act to his pending case.

“He also cited the potential that he saw from the Matter of Dorman decision yesterday, which he reviewed it in court and discussed it,” Soloways says. “He cited the potential that the government might be looking at a different way of approaching the definition of marriage for immigration purposes, and so, it was appropriate to adjourn in light of that decision to vacate.”

This might suggest that US immigration policy pertaining to same sex marriage might be finally evolving after years of hard-line anti-gay immigration policies. Keep updated with same sex immigration news by following The Nunez Firm website and blog.

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