Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it will issue written guidance to extend discretionary relief to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) immigrants with U.S. citizen spouses and partners. In June, Rep. Stark and his colleagues sent a letter to DHS requesting that the Department put in writing its verbal policy of extending prosecutorial discretion to same sex couples.
"I am very pleased with the Department of Homeland Security's decision to issue written guidance to extend discretionary relief to all families," said Rep. Stark. "No one should worry that they are at risk of being separated from their loved ones and this announcement will bring peace of mind to many immigrant families in our country."
Immigration Equality, a national organization fighting for equality under U.S. immigration law also praised the Department's decision.
"Immigration Equality is grateful to Representative Pete Stark for his ongoing efforts to ensure LGBT immigrant families are not separated," said Rachel B. Tiven, the group's executive director. "Today's announcement is the direct result of calls by Congressional leaders for clear, written guidance that will help our families. Rep. Stark has been an important part of the coalition in Congress requesting real change that will help real families. We look forward to working with him as we continue our efforts in Congress to pass fair, inclusive legislation that will permanently end the discrimination LGBT immigrant families face in our country's immigration system."