NEWS: A Historic Week – SCOTUS strikes down DOMA & Senate passes CIR bill

Statue of Liberty Sunset FullJune 26, 2013, SCOTUS RULED DOMA UNCONSTITUTIONAL: This week we witnessed history. The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional for its unequal treatment of same-sex married individuals, and a chorus of millions across the United States rejoiced. As Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the 5-4 majority decision, "DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment." The decision has monumental implications on immigration – opening pathways for binational same-sex married couples to seek immigration benefits. The Department of Homeland Security (and within it, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) has welcomed the decision and acknowledged that it has paved the way for recognizing binational same-sex marriages for immigration purposes.*

Read more on the SCOTUS decision and its impact on immigration at colorlines.com, thinkprogress.org, and nbclatino.com.

June 27, 2013, SENATE PASSED THE IMMIGRATION REFORM BILL: One day after SCOTUS’s historic decision striking down DOMA, the Senate passed the Gang of 8’s immigration reform bill by a vote of 68-32. While passing the Senate was never a guarantee, next up is the tougher task – getting through the House.

Read more on the Senate passing the bill at huffingtonpost.com.

Read 3 ways how the bill could pass the House at washingtonpost.com.

There was a lot to celebrate this week, but as for immigration reform, work remains. Nothing has become law yet. Contact your representatives and voice your support for reform.

*If you have questions about immigration benefits for same-sex couples, contact an experienced immigration attorney.