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Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law





256 S. Occidental Blvd.



Los Angeles, CA 90057




www.centerforhumanrights.org









CLASS ACTION CERTIFIED ON BEHALF OF IMMIGRANTS IN SAME SEX MARRIAGES UNCONSTITUTIONALLY DENIED LAWFUL
STATUS.



CLASS MEMBERS EXPERIENCING HARDSHIP FROM DENIAL OF LAWFUL STATUS URGED TO CONTACT CLASS COUNSEL.






Contacts:



Class counsel Peter Schey 323-251-3223
pschey@centerforumanrights.org



Class counsel Carlos Holguin 213-388-8693 x. 309 crholguin@centerforhumanrights.org



Case Title:

Arenas/Deleon, et al. v. Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security; et al

. Case No. SACV12-1137-JVS(MLGx) (United States District Court for the Central District of California)



On Friday April 19, 2013, Federal Judge Consuelo Marshall in Los Angeles, CA., ruled that United States
Immigration and Citizenship Services denied Jane DeLeon, an immigrant in a same sex marriage with a US
citizen, equal protection of the law when it refused to recognize her marriage as a lawful and
legitimate basis to confer immigration benefits. “This Court finds that the broad distinction created
by DOMA § 3 is not rationally related to Congress’ interest in a uniform federal definition of
marriage.” The court decided that “State law traditionally governs marriage recognition,” and DOMA had
disrupted the “long-standing practice of the federal government deferring to each state’s decisions as
to the requirements for a valid marriage.”



In so ruling, the court also ruled that a precedent case issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals in the
Ninth Circuit in 1982, Adams v. Howerton, which held that denying immigration benefits to
same-sex couples did not violate equal protection, has been superseded by "intervening statutory and
policy changes," and is therefore no longer binding precedent.



The court certified the lawsuit as a nationwide class action on behalf of "all members of lawful
same-sex marriages who have been denied or will be denied lawful [immigration] status or related
benefits" pursuant to § 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act.



Ms. DeLeon had also applied for a preliminary injunction requiring CIS to issue class members interim
work permits. Judge Marshall, however, declined to issue a preliminary injunction at this time, finding
that the possibility of class members' having deportation deferred pursuant to DHS's "Morton Memo"
might protect the class adequately until a final judgment is issued in the case.



We continue to believe the Morton Memo affords class members is inadequate protection because it does
not grant people work permits and because it does not stop the clock running on the accrual of
"unauthorized presence" triggering 3- and 10-year bars to immigrants' obtaining lawful admission to the
United States.



We plan to request summary judgment (final judgment) now that Judge Marshall has made clear that DOMA §
3 is unconstitutional as applied to deny immigration benefits. We hope this brings about prompt and
efficient protections and remedies for immigrants in same sex marriages.



However, we remained concerned that immigrant members of same-sex marriages will suffer needlessly in
the interim. Accordingly, if it comes to our attention that US citizens and immigrants in same sex
marriages are now facing needless hardship because their applications and petitions for immigration
benefits are not being approved, we are prepared to ask the court again to issue a preliminary
injunction, and we believe that effort would stand a good chance of securing interim work permits and
tolling of the 3- and 10-year bars to admission for immigrant members of same-sex marriages.






As attorneys for the class we would like to receive information on the following:







• Cases in which CIS, ICE or an Immigration Court denied an immigration application or petition
based on DOMA, particularly after October 2012, when, defendants told the court, they stopped
issuing denials of same-sex couples immigration applications.







• Cases in which US citizens or immigrants in same sex marriages with immigration petitions or
applications pending are facing clear hardships (lack of work permit, inability to travel,
Government refusal to suspend deportation proceedings, etc.).



A copy of the court decisions issued today may be read or downloaded by
href="http://e2ma.net/go/13056135563/214294259/240512867/1720841/b64/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5jZW50ZXJmb3JodW1hbnJpZ2h0cy5vcmcvRE9NQS5odG1s"
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clicking here.



Please also contact us if you have any questions.



Thank you.



Peter Schey



President, Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law



213-388-8693 ext. 304



pschey@centerforumanrights.org



Carlos Holguin



General Counsel, Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law



213-388-8693 x. 309



crholguin@centerforhumanrights.org



"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those


who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."


- Franklin D. Roosevelt













256 S. Occidental Blvd | Los Angeles, CA 90057 US