A San Francisco judge has closed a deportation case against a member of a same-sex couple from southern California.

Venezuelan citizen Alex Benshimol overstayed his visa in 2009, though he’d married Doug Gentry, a US citizen, in 2005. Under the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal government does not recognize same-sex unions.

The judge’s decision, at the request of federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement, follows a policy shift by the Obama Administration to focus on deporting criminals rather than undocumented immigrants who pose no public safety risk and have family relationships in the U.S. Administration officials said same-sex couples are included in the definition of family.

Benshimol’s attorney Lavi Soloway said the new policy is giving hope to tens of thousands of binational same-sex couples.

“This helps us tremendously,” said Soloway. “We have a number of cases in the pipeline, really desperate crisis situations where deportations would tear families apart and destroy marriages.”

One San Francisco gay couple hopes the new federal policy will bode well for their case. The visa for Australian citizen Anthony John Makk expires this week. Makk is husband and primary caretaker to Bradford Wells who has AIDS. Wells said the day he married Makk was the happiest of his life.

“Without him, I just don’t know what I’d do, said Wells. “I just can’t see going on without him here, I don’t know how I’d manage.”

Immigration officials denied Wells’ petition for a spousal visa for Makk last month, citing the Defense of Marriage Act. Wells is appealing the decision.

“I know he’s not under an order of deportation right now, said Wells. “But every time a helicopter goes overhead, I cringe.”

Makk’s visa expires Thursday.

Deportation Case Against Same-Sex Couple Closed After Obama Immigration Shift; SF Couple Awaits 23 August,2011Mina Kim

  • Brittanicus


    Millions were given Amnesty under the Simpson/Mazzoli bill, with an outcome of 6 million and a path to citizenship. A good many had rushed processing, with major problems they way it was originally performed. On top of this was CHAIN MIGRATION, which added even more family members, which ended up eating away at Social Security safety net, with not a dime came from their pockets. Each year taxpayers are forced by the court to care financially for illegal aliens and their children. Over a 100 billion a year is drained from the US treasury and States, with no end in sight. President Obama cannot survive the 2012 election campaign, without the vote of maximum number of minorities, legal and illegal.

    The Democratic parties, with Liberal undertones are unconcerned that–ONLY—U.S. citizens can vote? Learn about widespread voter fraud, that the US government pretends is negligible–it’s not? More is available to read at “Judicial Watch” that illustrates that both Washington and certain states are rife with corruption. Our last hope is the TEA PARTY, THE PEOPLE’S PARTY of all Americans, who will turn the tide of Obama’s executive order to limit the flow of illegal alien deportations. Just like the President Obama’s health care program, his executive order is full of gaping loopholes, so there convincing probability of illegal aliens being returned to the streets.

    Rest assured the word is already out about Obama’s clemency campaign that will invigorate millions to arrive from around the world; but mostly from countries south of the US border. Taxpayers are already being forced to pay for the education, medical care and welfare for illegal migrants and immigrants? So how much more money is citizens and residents expected to pay from their dwindling wages? Illegal alien children are well taken care of with your tax dollars that includes food stamps and cash payments. While many American citizens live in dire poverty. Something is seriously wrong with this picture?

    The TEA PARTY has become a mammoth grassroots movement of tens of millions of one- minded Americans from all racial and religious backgrounds, political parties, no matter what the Leftists party blabber? The TEA PARTY members have the shared focused values of limited government, individual freedoms, personal responsibility, “fair” free markets and above all else returning authority to the States and the people. We need a flat tax system, so that everybody whose domain is the United States-pays. No more IRS loopholes to escape through? The TEA PARTY is about reforming all political parties and control, so the key principles of our US Constitution, once again is the foundation on which this nation stands.

    MY EARLIER BLOGS: http://brittanicus-enoughisenough.blogspot.com/


Mina Kim

Mina Kim is KQED News’ evening anchor and the Friday host of Forum. She reports on a wide range of issues affecting the Bay Area and interviews newsmakers, local leaders and innovators.

Mina started her career in public radio at KQED as an intern with Pacific Time. When the station began expanding its local news coverage in 2010, she became a general assignment reporter, then health reporter for The California Report. Mina’s award-winning stories have included on-the-scene reporting of the 2014 Napa earthquake and a series on gun violence in Oakland.

Her work has been recognized by the Radio Television Digital News Association, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Asian American Journalists Association.

Mina grew up in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Oak Park, CA. She lives in Napa.

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