Atlanta, Georgia. (PRWEB) July 04, 2014
Foreign nationals in same-sex relationships who have a deportation order now have a second chance at legalizing their immigration status, thanks to a new policy announced by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the enforcement arm of the immigration service.
ICE officials announced to the American Immigration Lawyers Association last month that its legal counsel will now agree to reopen old deportation cases where the foreign national is in a lawful, bona fide same-sex marriage that makes him or her eligible for immigration relief.
“This is a huge deal for foreign nationals for whom last year’s Supreme Court decision came too late,” says Atlanta immigration lawyer Leslie Diaz, an immigration attorney in Georgia with the firm of Weinstock Immigration Lawyers.
Last year the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the federal Defense Of Marriage Act (“DOMA”), which blocked those who were legally married in states that allow gay marriage from obtaining federal benefits based on that marriage. The Supreme Court decision opened the door for same-sex married couples to win legal status in the United States for foreign nationals married to U.S. citizens.
However, as Attorney Diaz explains, those foreign nationals who already had been ordered deported by an Immigration Judge were seemingly out of luck. A deportation order means the person is barred from any immigration benefit until they have left the United States for at least 10 years. You can move to reopen a removal order if new relief comes available, but only within 90 days of the order being issued.
“The new ICE policy provides new hope for those with deportation orders because, as the agency that prosecutes deportation cases, it has the discretion to agree to reopen a case no matter how old the order is,” says immigration attorney in Atlanta Leslie Diaz.
“In order to take advantage of this policy change, the foreign national must be legally married in a state that allows same-sex marriage, and it must be a bona fide marriage, meaning that it was not entered into solely for the purpose of obtaining an immigration benefit,” said the immigration attorney in Atlanta.
“Additionally, the marriage must make the person eligible for permanent residence in the United States. Not every person who is married to a U.S. citizen can become a permanent resident. Finally, the person must show that he or she is deserving of this special benefit by providing evidence that he or she has significant positive ties to the United States, no serious criminal history, and no history of lying to immigration authorities,” added the Atlanta immigration attorney.
“This is an extraordinary remedy that is not granted in every case, so you want to submit a request that is very detailed and complete,” said the immigration attorney in GA. “It is really important to hire a knowledgeable and well-respected immigration attorney to assist with the case in order to make sure it is done correctly,” concluded the immigration lawyer in Georgia.
About Weinstock Immigration Lawyers:
Weinstock Immigration Lawyers is a premier Atlanta immigration law firm and its immigration attorneys specialize in helping companies and individuals achieve the American dream by providing legal assistance for a comprehensive list of immigration needs. Our immigration lawyers are proactive, responsive and caring and we are committed to providing quality and efficient service, and as a result we are one of the top ranking immigration law firms.