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.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Ronald Shapiro | Attorney Advertising

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