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Bi-National Gay SF Couple Gets Deportation Reprieve

3:31 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

Bradford Wells and Anthony John Makk, whose story was first featured at Firedoglake here, have got a reprieve from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, organized and announced by their Congressional representative, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Bradford Wells and Anthony John Makk, a bi-national, married gay couple who have lived most of the 19 years of their relationship in San Francisco’s Castro district, today won a two year stay against the threat of deportation, thanks to the personal intervention of their representative, House leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco.

Makk is a citizen of Australia married to Wells, a U.S. citizen who suffers from AIDS-related illnesses. Makk is his primary caregiver. The couple was denied consideration of spousal immigration benefits by the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA, which bars all federal benefits to same-sex couples.

This is a two-year reprieve.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a letter to Makk today saying he has been granted “deferred action” on his case for two years. The letter said the action is “an exercise of prosecutorial discretion” that allows the agency not to pursue deportation for a specific period. Makk met multiple conditions of the agency’s new guidelines for immigration agents to prioritize deportation cases, including family ties, status as a primary caregiver, lack of criminal record and his long period of legal residence under a series of visas that eventually expired. Read the rest of this entry →

What Fierce Advocacy Looks Like: “I want to be with my family, in my country”

7:42 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

Current TV/Countdown‘s guest host David Shuster interviewed Bradford Wells and Anthony John Makk on Wednesday to discuss their immigration situation.

Shuster: The Obama Administration, which refuses to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, is now using that to split a gay couple apart. After seven years of marriage, Bradford Wells and Anthony John Makk may be forced to separate as soon as August the 25th. Our number one story on the Countdown: Wells, an American citizen, has AIDS. Makk, an Australian, is Wells’ husband and primary caregiver. Both live in San Francisco. And, while Makk has crossed the US border for years on legal visas, the US government recently told him he is no longer eligible to do that because the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, denies all federal benefits, including immigration benefits, to same-sex couples. Makk was also told he was not eligible to stay as Wells’ spouse, his application for permanent residency denied because of DOMA. And, by the way, the couple was married in Massachusetts. The couple has sought the help of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, their representative in Congress, and Immigration Equality, a gay rights group, has said they will take this particular case to the White House. Steve Ralls, a spokesman for the group, told Countdown:

“I would think the White House would get political points. Do you want a dying American to be here with his caregiver or not?”

Shuster: Joining us from San Francisco tonight are Bradford Wells and Anthony John Makk, and gentlemen, thanks for joining us this evening.

Wells/Makk: Thank you. Read the rest of this entry →

Fierce Advocate’s Administration Cites DOMA, Denies Immigration Benefits to Gay Married Couple

1:49 am in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

"screwed"

"screwed" by uckhet on flickr

The Obama Administration has denied the request of a married couple in San Francisco, ordering the expulsion of one spouse who is the primary caregiver of his legally married husband with AIDS.

Team Obama is incapable of valuing our actual relationships, while making pretty speeches about DOMA’s unconstitutionality.

Bradford Wells, a U.S. citizen, and Anthony John Makk, a citizen of Australia, were married seven years ago in Massachusetts. They have lived together 19 years, mostly in an apartment in the Castro district. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services denied Makk’s application to be considered for permanent residency as a spouse of an American citizen, citing the 1996 law that denies all federal benefits to same-sex couples.

Mr Wells states his case plainly:

“I’m married just like any other married person in this country,” Wells said. “At this point, the government can come in and take my husband and deport him. It’s infuriating. It’s upsetting. I have no power, no right to keep my husband in this country. I love this country, I live here, I pay taxes and I have no right to share my home with the person I married.”

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a part of Homeland Security, stated they do not find the relationship to be “petitionable:” Read the rest of this entry →