Senator Kerry Calls on Obama Administration Not to Deny Green Card Petition Filed by Jackie & Gloria, Seeks to Prevent Deportation to Pakistan: VIDEO
Last November, Jackie and Gloria shared their story with The DOMA Project. Jackie and Gloria met when they were college students, after Gloria came to the United States from Pakistan on a student visa. Now a happily married couple in their twenties living in Massachusetts, the two women are struggling to build their lives together facing an uncertain future because of the DOMA.
Since last year, even after announcing its position that DOMA was unconstitutional, the Obama administration has steadfastly refused to protect married binational same-sex couples. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services continues to deny marriage-based petitions filed by gay and lesbian Americans for their spouses, rejecting calls from advocates and elected officials to hold final decisions on those cases in “abeyance,” which would allow married binational gay and lesbian couples to be remain together in the United States without forcing the foreign spouse to lapse into unlawful status. Jackie and Gloria have bravely stood up to defend the rights of lesbian and gay Americans to sponsor their foriegn spouses for green cards and to build futures together without fear of being torn aapart.
In March, Jackie filed a marriage-based green card petition for her foreign-born spouse, Gloria, and joined an advocacy campaigned aimed at persuading the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services to delay making a final decision on their petition until DOMA has been struck down by the courts, so that Gloria can stay in the United States, obtain employment authorization, and eventually, a green card.
They also reached out to their elected officials and to the media to share their experience and highlight the impact of DOMA on married lesbian and gay binational couples. U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-Mass) wrote to Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano on the behalf of Jackie and Gloria, raising the issues they face because DOMA prevents recognition of their marriage, and asking the Secretary to direct USCIS to hold their petition in abeyance.
Gloria and Jackie have recently spoken with local news and press in the area as well. A local newspaper first ran a news story on Jackie and Gloria. Both CBS and ABC, local affiliate stations in Boston, Massachusetts have interviewed the couple and reported on their fight to stay together in this country.