April 3, 2012

Lawsuit seeks equal immigration treatment for same-sex couples.

The NYT headline is "Noncitizens Sue Over U.S. Gay Marriage Ban," but both the citizen and the noncitizen are parties to the suits, and I think it's obvious that the claim of the citizen spouse is stronger. Why is one married American citizen treated differently from another married American citizen with respect to the ease with which her/his spouse can obtain legal residence in the United States?
Under [the Defense of Marriage Act], federal authorities do not recognize same-sex marriages, even from states that allow them. In recent years, as same-sex marriage became legal in several states, gay and lesbian couples have come forward to say they were facing a painful choice: either deportation for the immigrant or exile to life in a foreign country for the American.

“I’m a citizen of this country just like anybody else,” said Heather Morgan, 36, a plaintiff in the lawsuit together with her spouse, María del Mar Verdugo Yañez, 42, who is from Spain. After a 13-year friendship that evolved into a romance, the couple was married in August 2011 in New York City, where they live.
What a lovely couple they've chosen as the face of this lawsuit! I'm absolutely unsurprised that the NYT features the attractive female same-sex couple rather than males.

34 comments:

Pastafarian said...

I'm not sure if I'd consider it "exile for life" if you choose to live in another country, because you don't like the laws in this one.

I guess I've been "exiled for life" from the UK because I don't like their gun laws. Or free speech laws. Or, hell, very many of their takes on personal liberty. (Which all spring from tight gun laws.)

William said...

Now gays will have equal opportunity to game the immigration laws.

traditionalguy said...

The dominoes are falling again.

What is fair about denying a man with 4+ wives a green card each wife, and why stop at 4.

Oops, and the same goes for a wife with 4+ husbands.

The internet can be the match maker and for true love for all of my wives as they get green cards. And I did not say Mormon.

Pogo said...

I shall tear down this fence, though I do not know why it stands here.

What could possibly go wrong?

Ann Althouse said...

"What is fair about denying a man with 4+ wives a green card each wife, and why stop at 4."

Because the govt would be treating everyone the same with respect to the treatment of a single spouse.

State the equal protection problem, citing a classification the govt is making creating 2 categories of individuals with a distinction that doesn't justify the different treatment.

You'd have to say persons with more than one spouse are being treated differently as to the additional spouses than everyone, including that person is treated with respect to their first spouse, then say there's no basis for that different treatment.

Everyone is treated the same with respect to one spouse. The personal with addition spouses is seeking special treatment.

Kyle Luebke said...

It actually is 'exile' for life...for those of us who love our country, and are basically barred from living here because our spouse is foreign born. Thankfully, I am fortunate enough to have married a Canadian - so (come this May) we will be living in Canada while I go to law school in the States. But the financial and emotional burdens that such an arrangement puts on my family is excessive...and not required by my government for any heterosexual couple. We are not asking to be treated differently in Immigration law, but be given the same treatment in family class immigration sponsorship.

Pastafarian said...

Althouse: "Everyone is treated the same with respect to one spouse."

False.

In this hypothetical, if a man has 4 wives, then each wife has only one spouse.

That wife would be discriminated against. Why should she be exiled for life, for something her spouse did (marry 3 other people)?

Pastafarian said...

Perhaps you don't consider such a relationship spousal, because it's not one-to-one.

How parochial of you. You sound like those dinosaurs that don't recognize same-sex fuck-buddies as spouses.

tolkein said...

But if they're not married - and I understand it, the DOMA says they're not married, where is the discrimination?

I understand that many say the DOMA is unconstitutional, but if a criterion judges should bear in mind when considering the constitutionality of a law, is the strong support for the law (96-0 in the Senate, as I recall, and still a majority against gay marriage) aren't liberals disabled criticising DOMA? At least, if they like the ACA.

Pogo said...

"Because the govt would be treating everyone the same with respect to the treatment of a single spouse."

That same argument is used against legalizing gay marriage.

Pastafarian said...

I'm curious why you'd make such an argument, Althouse, when you dismissed as specious the argument that the government does already treat everyone the same with respect to marriage, in the sense that gay men are free to marry any woman they want. Was this one of your famous traps?

Moose said...

*sigh*

Whatever.

Pastafarian said...

Equal match or not, this unwashed commenter will take the lack of response to mean that she's fallen into a trap of her own making in this instance.

And if Althouse's 11:08 comment was merely a trap, an honest non-trappy response to traditionalguy's original hypothetical would be nice.

The Drill SGT said...

Fascinating that O'bama won't defend DOMA, a Federal law, institutionalizing 5000 years of common law, passed overwhelmingly by bi-partisan majorities of a duly elected legislature from being overturned by un-elected partisan activist Judges, but.....

The Drill SGT said...

traditionalguy said...
The dominoes are falling again.

Oops, and the same goes for a wife with 4+ husbands.


Nope, that's against God's Laws (Sharia)

edutcher said...

The Feds don't recognize same sex marriage any more than most states.

Seems pretty clear, but the Lefties will move heaven and earth for one of their protected constituencies.

Fen said...

Everyone is treated the same with respect to gender. The personal with different gender is seeking special treatment

/fixed

If its wrong to discriminate based on gender of spouse, its also wrong to discriminate against number of spouses.

eric said...

This is a nightmare waiting to happen.

We already have enough trouble with married applicants who get paid because US Citizenship, for many in the world, is a golden ticket.

You might think if you threw in female to female and male to male in would increase the number of fraud applications 200%. Two more types of marriage, for a total of 3 ways for fraud.

My belief, however, is it will increase much, much, much more than that.

For one, the male/female marriage relationship is a difficult one for fraud. Women are not entirely safe and secure when with men, so this causes many to take a second look. Then you have the family members who hold them back as well, "Is this safe?" because mothers and fathers, no matter their economic situation, don't want their precious daughter with some strange man who might turn out to be sick and evil.

There are a lot of reasons why fraud is cut down simply because of the male/female dynamic, no matter the society.

Now throw in male/male and female/female.

First, you have to throw out all the time honored marriage fraud questions that help an investigator discover if this is a true marriage, or not.

Second, what is a same sex marriage anyway? Can you have a friendly same sex marriage? Does there have to be copulation? Believe it or not, this is one of the ways we find out if people are actually married.

So how do you stop it? Joe wants an extra 20,000.00 and Michael wants to immigrate to the United States. Neither are gay but why not? Especially if no sex is required.

This is a train wreck waiting to happen and one of the reasons I have opposed homosexual marriage from the beginning.

This is going to end badly for everyone. It's not going to end with allowing 10's of thousands of new applicants getting fraudulently into the United States each year (Although that might be the short term result). It's going to end with no one getting to immigrate through the process of marriage.

YoungHegelian said...

@eric,

You have an interesting point. But Canada & many wealthy European countries have legalized gay marriage. Is there empirical evidence that there is a large percentage of fraudulent immigration applicants using SSM as a cover?

I honestly don't know, but I'd like to see some numbers.

While you are right that a US Visa is a golden card for most of the world, I think that the opprobrium associated with coming in on a "faggot" (or whatever the local linguistic equivalent is) visa would scare away a large part of the world.

The Thais would be okay with it; the Gambians -- no way in hell!

Rialby said...

"What a lovely couple they've chosen as the face of this lawsuit! I'm absolutely unsurprised that the NYT features the attractive female same-sex couple rather than males."

I'm not surprised they featured an educated European as the poster child for the article either. For the vast majority of Americans, concern about illegal immigration is not concern over the random educated person from somewhere in the world overstaying a visa. Concern about illegal immigration is about importing huge groups of uneducated, illiterate and needy people en masse into a country that they have been taught they have a historical claim to.

eric said...

@YoungHegelian


I'm not aware of the immigration issues of those countries, although Canada is unique in that it only borders the USofA and so does not have to contend with the common land border traffic that many other Western nations do have to contend with. So I imagine they have much less of an immigration issue than we do, no matter the type of fraud involved.

Would you need to be homosexual, or as you put it, a faggot, to immigrate to the United States via same sex marriage?

Why couldn't aunt Betty and aunt June get married? And then Betty could immigrate June.

We don't want to discriminate!

Andy R. said...

State the equal protection problem, citing a classification the govt is making creating 2 categories of individuals with a distinction that doesn't justify the different treatment.

It's so cute seeing Althouse trying to use reason and legal analysis when arguing with the homophobes here about gay rights issues.

n.n said...

There is no equivalence between couples and couplets. The first is a natural derivative and comprises a relationship between a male and female, which is, ostensibly, entered into for reasons of procreation. It is an imperative necessary to the viability of a society and contributes positively to evolutionary fitness. The second is an artificial construct between two individuals for reasons of physical instant gratification and other selfish interests. The relationship has no merit other than to the individuals who comprise the couplet. The only similarity is that both involve two individuals who benefit from each other's company.

It seems that couplets and other deviant associations which are maintained through mutual consent can be tolerated. However, there is no legitimate reason to normalize them. The individuals may be productive members of society and may individually contribute to the long-term viability of humanity, but their relationship offers no benefit to either.

Nathan Alexander said...

Everyone is treated the same with respect to one spouse. The personal with addition spouses is seeking special treatment.

Please show me where the argument for gay marriage ever specified a number.

The argument was always about being able to marry someone you love.

Well, some men are capable of loving more than one woman at the same time.

Perhaps some women are capable of loving more than one man at the same time.

If the only prerequisite is love (and that is the only prerequisite stipulated in the argument for gay marriage), then why shouldn't someone be able to simultaneously marry multiple people whom they all love?

There is no argument against it at all, if "love" is the only prerequisite.

chickenlittle said...

I'm absolutely unsurprised that the NYT features the attractive female same-sex couple rather than males.

Why, because using males would evoke stronger images of backdoor immigration?

My wife has a green card, but I didn't "give" it to her--her family immigrated here just before the 1965 policy changed to become more inclusive of other nationalities, which in effect barred many Western Europeans afterwards--including many countries with favorable same-sex marriage laws.

Immigration laws are unfair. They are politically manipulated and have been so for some time. They include and exclude people for complex reasons, not the least of which is complexion.

It would be ironic if proponents of same sex marriage were threatened not so much by the "old white men" stereotype as by the influence of immigrant populations, though I have no data to support such a threat.

Geoff Matthews said...

I would point out that Canada's immigration laws are MUCH more stringent than the US's.
Also, Quebec has its own immigration policy, apart from the rest of Canada.

Paul said...

Let'em immigrate to Iran.

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

It's so cute seeing Andy R. unable to discuss gay marriage without immediately calling all who disagree him "homophobes".

Actually, most of us are misimbeciles.

Pastafarian said...

AndyR, I'm not afraid of you, and I don't hate you.

But I think that one of the few legitimate roles of government is the preservation of the nation as a people and a culture; and a people needs to breed to carry on.

Not everyone has to breed for us to survive; but a substantial proportion of us need to, and the farther we go down this road of dismantling the conventional nuclear family, the closer we come to oblivion. Scoff, but look at Germany for our demographic future.

And while you ascribe to me motives of emotion and fear, it seems to me as though much of the debate from your side is driven by petulance and daddy-issues.

Pastafarian said...

Althouse, at 11:14 I rebutted your comment at 11:08. I was hoping you'd rebut my rebuttal.

It doesn't take 6 hours to vote for Mitt Romney. It only took me 3, to get past the waves nausea to the point that I could stand up and fill in the little bubble.

Doug said...

"Attractive"? Really?

dbp said...

Given that lesbians can pretty easily reproduce, there should perhaps be some legal accommodation for them. Of course laws need to be written carefully so as to only do as much as is intended.

Perhaps marriage could be defined as a union of two unrelated adults, at least one of which must be female.

chickenlittle said...

Perhaps marriage could be defined as a union of two unrelated adults, at least one of which must be female.

Related: Can the union of two men ever be called matrimony on etymological grounds?