Jane DeLeon has been in a relationship with Irma Rodriguez for 20 years. In 2008 the couple was married. Their relationship is as real as anyone's, but not to the Obama administration who is moving to deport Deleon for the single reason that she is not married to a man.
The Obama administration denied DeLeon’s Form I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility solely because DeLeon has entered into a same-sex marriage and § 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, 1 U.S.C. § 7, defines “marriage” under federal law as “only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.”
DeLeon has taken action, filing suit in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division. The suit argues that the Obama administration violated the substantive due process and equal protection guarantees of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution and 8 U.S.C. § 1152(a)(2), which prohibits discrimination in the issuance of visas based upon a petitioner’s or an immigrant visa beneficiary’s “sex.”
The suit requests class-action designation to include all members of lawful marriages whom the Department of Homeland Security, pursuant to § 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, 1 U.S.C. § 7, refuses to recognize as spouses for purposes of conferring lawful status and related benefits under the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
Click here to read the full text of the suit.
Matthew Kolken is a trial lawyer with experience in all aspects of United States Immigration Law including Immigration Courts throughout the United States, and appellate practice before the Board of Immigration Appeals, the U.S. District Courts, and U.S. Courts of Appeals. He is admitted to practice in the courts of the State of New York , the United States District Court for the Western District of New York, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).