CNN covers the story Henry Velandia and his husband, Josh Vandiver. Now that all the deportation proceedings against Henry has been dropped, this gay bi-national couple is able to celebrate their love in the U.S. after a long legal immigration battle .
“We are celebrating the future we just got now that my deportation was stopped,” said Velandia. “We had this enormous burden over us that my husband of less than a year would be taken away from me and we’d be torn apart. Now we are celebrating that we get to be together indefinitely in this country,” added Vandiver.
John Morton, director of ICE, recently reminded in a memo that officials use “prosecutorial discretion” in specific cases. ICE emphasizes that its priority is to focus on dangerous criminals.
This decision could set a precedent for thousands of gay couples.
A study from UCLA estimates that about 36,000 gay couples are made up of a U.S. citizen and a non-citizen. Some activist groups in favor of same sex marriage believe the number could be higher.
The decision does not grant Velandia legal permanent residence, but the couple says it buys them time to keep fighting for their cause and other same-sex couples.
“Couples who love each other should stay together,” said Velandia.
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