DOMA’s Effect on Immigration Reform


Aside from immigration, one of the biggest social issues of today revolves around same-sex marriage. Nearly 17 years ago, a federal law was passed which gave states the right to refuse to recognize same-sex marriage. This law was known as the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA. The act essentially barred those in a same-sex relationship from receiving the benefits allowed to other married couples. For nearly two decades, DOMA was the law of the land. That is, however, until just recently when the Supreme Court ruled that a section of the law was unconstitutional. The section in question defined the word ‘marriage’ as a legal union between one man and one woman.

The Supreme Court’s ruling made front page headlines across the United States and sparked an immediate outcry from those on both sides of the debate. Those in the majority on the Court said that DOMA “violates basic due process and equal protection principles applicable to the Federal Government.” The dissenters in the 5-4 decision argued there is nothing in the Constitution which suggests DOMA is unlawful.

While the Supreme Court’s decision was a huge victory for equality advocates, it had far reaching implications for proponents of immigration reform as well. Under DOMA, same-sex couples where one spouse is an immigrant had none of the protections offered to other married couples in a similar situation. This led to the pointless breakup of families across the United States. Since the decision, same-sex spouses will be able to apply for a work visa, green card and citizenship just like anyone else. Even those who still live in a state where same-sex marriage isn’t recognized can still apply for and receive a green card for an immigrant spouse.

Some estimate that the ruling will give nearly 36,000 couples legitimate citizenship in the United States. Just because the path to citizenship for gay and lesbian couples opened up a bit, going through the whole process alone is still ill-advised. Let the experienced lawyers of Brodzki Jacobs & Associates PL help you and your loved ones with all matters involving citizenship and immigration in the USA. Put your faith in the lawyers of Brodzki Jacobs & Associates PL and see how much an experienced immigration lawyer can help your case.

Brodzki Jacobs & Associates PL is a law firm in Coral Springs, FL specializing in divorce, bankruptcy and immigration law. Call today for a consultation! (954) 344-7737

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