STATEMENT BY SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY JANET NAPOLITANO ON THE SUPREME COURT RULING ON THE DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT
“I applaud today’s Supreme Court decision in United States v. Windsor holding that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. This discriminatory law denied thousands of legally married same-sex couples many important federal benefits, including immigration benefits. I am pleased the Court agreed with the Administration’s position that DOMA’s restrictions violate the Constitution. Working with our federal partners, including the Department of Justice, we will implement today’s decision so that all married couples will be treated equally and fairly in the administration of our immigration laws.” (emphasis added)
The above statement from a press release by Secretary Napolitano is an incredible development for same-sex married couples. It appears as though the administration’s intention is to apply the Supreme Court’s ruling in the immigration context. This means that alien spouses in a same-sex marriage where the marriage was perfomed in a State in which such marriage is legally recognized by the State, will now be eligible to have a family-based petition filed on their behalf by their spouse and receive the same benefits currently accorded to heterosexual foreign nationals under the immigration laws of our country.