Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My Reaction to the USCIS Announcement

Yesterday, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services revealed that  deportations of people who have overstayed their visas, but  are in a state-recognized same sex marriage,  are now on hold.   (From  Metro Weekly:)
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Following up on reports from this weekend, Metro Weekly just received confirmation from Christopher Bentley, the spokesman for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, that cases of foreign partners who are married to a same-sex partner and would otherwise be eligible for a green card are on hold in light of questions about the continued validity of the Defense of Marriage Act. Bentley writes, "USCIS has issued guidance to the field asking that related cases be held in abeyance while awaiting final guidance related to distinct legal issues." He notes, however, "USCIS has not implemented any change in policy and intends to follow the President's directive to continue enforcing the law." The legal distinction means that although DOMA is still being enforced, the USCIS is using its discretion to hold off on denying green card applications where applicable.
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 A lot of people  have sent me text messages and emails  today  asking me if I am excited and happy about  this "significant step forward"  for same sex  bi-national couples.

Sigh....

I'm sorry but this is all nonsense, wonderfully symbolic nonsense, but nonsense all the same.

Green Card Petitions by same sex couples will not be approved as long as DOMA is still on the books. Also this does NOTHING for bi-national same sex  couples who are currently living overseas,  or for couples where the Non-American partner is not currently in the U.S.

As far as the Administration taking  this "significant step" goes... There is also no logical reason that the steps taken this past month;  (declining to defend DOMA in court,  putting pending deportations on hold ect.) couldn't have been taken THREE YEARS AGO. That might have helped move current court challenges to DOMA through the system faster. Instead we had the Obama DOJ filing legal briefs defending DOMA by comparing same sex marriage to incest... How soon we forget huh?

The legislation recently introduced to repeal DOMA is dead on arrival in the House of Representatives. Why? Simple, the GOP and it's rabidly wingnutty base are desperate to keep LGBT Americans as the one last minority it is safe for them to promote the hatred of, for fundraising purposes.

When the Republican Party wants to deport children BORN HERE because their Parents were not citizens, do you honestly think these politically opportunistic bigots are going to sit idly by and allow same sex couples even a small dose of equality?

I am very glad that the couples who were facing forced separation have been given a reprieve, but unless DOMA is repealed it will be only a temporary one. 
  I know this feels like it should be seen as some sort of positive step forward, but I just can't get excited because Barack Obama (with one eye on his re-elect) has moved from active opposition to Marriage Equality, to passive indifference.    
This is window dressing ahead of the 2012 re-election kickoff.  Which Huffington Post says is coming in April. 
Nothing more...

1 comment:

Biki said...

Yes, yes, yes! I felt the exact same way as you do upon hearing the news about the deportations being halted. It's nothing but window dressing and something far more ugly, money. Many of the richest democrats are angry at Obama turning his back on the GLBT after his election, and have shown that anger by refusing to donate. This is nothing but a the start of a long campaign cycle, and his attempt to woo us back.

Until the repug-icans understand that there are other ways to raise money than promising to their electorate that said minority group will be marginalized, we wont be seeing anything of worth from them.

And the democrats need to know that their electorate have longer memories than goldfish do.

Great post! Will you continue to post after you move? I sure hope so.