Obama Administration Issues Written Deportation Guidelines for Binational Couples
Source: The Advocate
New written guidelines from the Obama administration outline the conditions under which binational same-sex couples may be considered to have a “family relationship” for the purposes of immigration officials deciding whether to proceed with deportation actions.
The criteria, listed in a memo issued this week by U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, answer questions that have persisted since June 2011, when the agency advised in a memo that officials should consider “ties and contributions to the community, including family relationships" while exercising their prosecutorial discretion over low-priority deportation cases. Last week, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who oversees ICE, indicated in a letter to Congress that the guidance would be forthcoming after 84 House Democrats wrote to request the clarification.
According to the Washington Blade, which reported on the latest memo, the agency has now made explicit three criteria that immigration personnel should consider when looking at “family relationships involving long-term, same-sex partners.” The memo says “the factor of ‘family relationships’ encompasses two adults who are in a committed, long-term, same-sex relationship.”
Dated October 5 and signed by three senior ICE officials, the memo is addressed to all the agency’s field office directors, chief counsels, and special agents in charge. It states the following: