Holder puts deportation of gay partners on hold

Posted on 06 May 2011 at 4:16pm
Josh Vandiver and Henry Velandia

Henry Velandia, a Venezuelan who is married to an American, had his deportation put on hold today by a judge in a New Jersey immigration court, according to the Associated Press. The decision in Velandia’s case came a day after U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder set aside a ruling in a similar case.

When Velandia’s visitor visa was about to expire, he applied for a green card through his employer but was denied. Although he and Josh Vandiver were legally married in Connecticut, the federal government refused to recognize their relationship under the Defense of Marriage Act.

Lavi Soloway, attorney for Velandia, told Dallas Voice in October that his client fears for his life if he has to return to Venezuela.

Soloway, who is a founder of the group Immigration Equality, says his No. 1 target is DOMA. Other activists are focused on passing the Dream Act and the Uniting American Families Act.

In the October immigration story, Dallas Voice reported that RafiQ Salleh was delayed in Singapore where he had gone to pick up the renewal of his two-year entrepreneur’s visa. He was back in Dallas by Christmas and his business survived thanks to the hard work of his partner and employees.

Dallas Voice will highlight several other immigration stories in the coming weeks. Some of the stories involve people trying to keep a same-sex spouse in the U.S. Another involves treatment by ICE that began with racial profiling but ended with brutal treatment based on sexual orientation.

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