A spokesperson for the Obama administration told BuzzFeed this week that the Department of Homeland Security will begin taking same-sex marriages into consideration in deportation decisions.
This new policy has been a topic of discussion over the last year when the administration announced a new policy that would re-prioritize deportations and give lower priority to those with families — which includes same-sex couples, according to the Obama administration’s revised definition of “family” — in the United States.
Peter Boogaard, Deputy Press Secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, told BuzzFeed’s Chris Geidner:
“[W]hen exercising prosecutorial discretion in enforcement matters, DHS looks at the totality of the circumstances presented in individual cases, including whether an individual has close family ties to the United States as demonstrated by his or her same-sex marriage or other longstanding relationship to a United States citizen.”
At the moment, the Defense of Marriage Act prevents the same-sex spouse of an American citizen to receive a green card, which the Department says it will still comply with unless Congress repeals DOMA or the law is found unconstitutional.
This new decision to consider same-sex marriages comes just days after the Democratic Party announced it will include same-sex marriage into their platform for the upcoming convention, and a day after Geidner reported that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi had put the pressure upon the administration to make this decision.