There are many gay couples in Melrose Village, so we were thrilled to see the positive Supreme Court decisions today supporting the freedom to marry, both in California and at the federal level.
One of our active community members, Navid Dayzad, is a lawyer who specializes in immigration cases, including those of gay people and binational couples. He has an interesting perspective on today’s decisions. Here is what Navid says:
The Unites States Supreme Court ruling today allows a new group of immigrants to apply for green cards! Under the Constitution’s protections of equal liberty, the Supreme Court finds that the federal government must recognize legally valid marriages of gay and lesbian couples. Now, equal access to immigration benefits is available to immigrant, gay and lesbian spouses. As I explained in a recent interview with a PBS news reporter, today is a big day in our nation’s immigration history.
Such couples can access immigration benefits if they are legally married in one of 15 countries, 12 states, or the District of Columbia. In a related case, the Supreme Court also affirmed that gay and lesbian couples in California can legally marry. Thus, equal access to immigration benefits is also available in California for immigrant, gay and lesbian spouses who can legally marry in the state.
In addition to green cards, spouses of temporary visa holders can also obtain more secure temporary visas, rather than rely on six-month visitor visas. The news is also helpful to couples where one is transgender. While I have been successful in obtaining green cards for such couples since the early days, this ruling eliminates extra procedural burdens. Fiancé visas are now also a good option for certain individuals.
Employees of our corporate clients will no longer have to jump through extra hoops to bring their gay or lesbian spouses to the United States. Couples with whom I have consulted over many years will no longer have to endure the anguish and uncertainty of discriminatory immigration laws.
I have proudly worked hard on behalf of such couples for over 12 years, including as Chair and Vice Chair of a national LGBT committee of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. I hope to continue helping these families navigate the new, uncharted waters to achieve their immigration goals under the Supreme Court’s momentous ruling.
– Navid Dayzad, www.DayzadLaw.com