On 26th June, the Supreme court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act that prevented US citizens from sponsoring their same sex partners for US Green Cards. Senator Patrick Leahy was in favor of same sex marriages and he wanted to include protections for same sex couples in the immigration reform bill. Just because the members of the Republican party threatened that they would not support immigration reform, if an amendment that would grant the same sex couples access to Green Cards was added to the immigration reform bill, Senator Patrick Leahy did not introduce his amendment. Such an amendment is now not necessary as the Supreme court has struck down DOMA and the Supreme court overturned DOMA just a day before the Senators voted on the Senate immigration reform bill.
There are around 40,000 LGBT couples living in the United States and the Senate immigration reform bill does not include provisions for these couples. Though the Republicans are against same sex marriages, now the married same sex couples will be granted the same immigration benefits that were earlier granted only to the heterosexual couples. Likewise, the Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, stated that all the married couples will be granted equal rights and that their petitions will be accepted by the USCIS. US citizens can now start filing applications on behalf of their same sex foreign partners and this ruling will have a positive impact on thousands of LGBT couples.
Many LGBT couples left America as they were not able to live with their loved ones and many even ended their relationships as same sex marriages were not recognized by the federal government. The repeal of DOMA is a step forward towards immigration reform. Americans can now make use of the fiancé visa to sponsor their partners who are currently living in foreign countries and bring them to the United States. Now the LGBT Americans want the US Congress to pass the immigration reform bill that would legalize the country’s undocumented immigrants and that would fix America’s broken immigration system.