Friday, April 6, 2012

When Real Life Meets Art: The Continued Enforcement of DOMA in the Immigration Context

I was just  introduced to a new film starring Jamie Lynn Sigler of Sopranos and Entourage fame that tackles the subject of the continued enforcement of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the immigration context.

Here is a summary of the film:
Jack Edwards is a British gay man living in New York. After his brother gets killed in a brutal car crash Jack is left to raise his niece with his sister-in-law Mya. When Jack's work visa gets denied he marries his best friend Ali for a green card in a desperate attempt to keep his family together. After he meets Spanish American Mano Alfaro and his marriage of convenience starts to crumble, Jack is faced with impossible decisions for his family, friends and the man he loves.
And the trailer:


On April 2, 2012, Immigration Equality, on behalf of five same-sex couples, filed suit in U.S. District Court in New York challenging the constitutionality of DOMA.  The suit alleges equal protection violations stemming from the denial of immigration benefits due to gender and sexual orientation.

Attorney General Eric Holder, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas among others, are the named defendants.  

The Obama administration continues to deny immigrant petitions filed on behalf of legally married same-sex spouses, and in most cases has been moving forward with deportation proceedings after the denial.

It will be very interesting to see if the Obama administration defends the law in District Court, or concedes its unconstitutionality.

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