ICE Defines Same-Sex “Family Relationships”


On October 5, 2012, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (“ICE”) published criteria  for determining when individuals in committed, long-term, same-sex partnerships may avoid removal (i.e., deportation) from the United States pursuant to “prosecutorial discretion” decisions.  According to the publication, the following factors are relevant (though not determinative) to a decision to exercise prosecutorial discretion favorably:

  • The partners are each other’s sole domestic partner and intend to remain so indefinitely;
  • The partners are not in a marital or other domestic relationship with anyone else; and
  • The partners typically maintain a common residence and share financial obligations and assets.

Gradually over time, the immigration laws and regulations are recognizing the needs of same-sex parents and widening avenues for them to stay together legally in the U.S.

If you are in a same-sex partnership and need legal assistance on an immigration-related matter, please do not hesitate to contact our office at (847) 564-0712 for an appointment to speak with a qualified attorney. You can also check out our immigration law Website for more information about how we might further assist you.