Thursday, June 30, 2011

Deportation Proceedings Dropped Against Binational Couple

In a piece of news that has immigration and marriage equality advocates alike cheering, immigration officials have dropped deportation proceedings against Henry Velandia, a Venezuelan man legally married to his partner, Josh Vandiver, in Connecticut in 2010.

The case has attracted a lot of attention over recent weeks as the salsa dancer and undocumented immigrant fought to remain in the country he had adopted with the husband he married.  With the current administration's no-defend policy of DOMA and relaxed immigration guidelines, the couple were hopeful that Henry could remain and those hopes have been fulfilled.

From the NYT:

"Immigration lawyers and gay rights advocates said the decision represented a significant shift in policy and could open the door to the cancellation of deportations for other immigrants in same-sex marriages.

"'This action shows that the government has not only the power but the inclination to do the right thing when it comes to protecting certain vulnerable populations from deportation,' said the couple’s lawyer, Lavi Soloway."

Congrats to Henry and Josh!  And btw-- aren't they the cutest couple ever?

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