With the recent ruling against the Defense of Marriage Act, LGBT couples across the United States are celebrating their new freedom. Finally the federal government will recognize all LGBT marriages in the United States, provided that these marriages are valid in states that allow Same-sex marriage. But what does this mean for LGBT Immigrants?
For the longest time LGBT relationships posed a problem for immigration. Although separate states recognized gay marriage, the United States did not recognize gay marriage under the ruling of DOMA. This made legalizing spouses of LGBT marriages impossible. The United States requires that immigrants hold green card status for three years, and during this time immigrants must be in a marital union. Up until DOMA was overruled, marital unions between same-sex couples were not recognized by the federal government. Since DOMA was ruled unconstitutional, under immigration law, married gay couples will now be able to naturalize their spouses through states that allow gay marriage.
California is home to the highest number of immigrants, documented or undocumented, in our country today. With the recent ruling of Proposition 8, same-sex marriage was once again ruled legal in California. Through the legalization of gay marriage in California many undocumented immigrants in LGBT relationships will find themselves on the path of citizenship through marriage. Although there are still many steps to be taken towards a better future for immigrants and LGBT citizens, this is one giant step on the path towards the future.