A major victory for Princeton couple Joshua Vandiver GS and his husband Henry Velandia: an immigration judge in Newark ruled yesterday that Venezuelan-born Velandia’s deportation would be halted until December in light of developing national policy on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
The background: Vandiver met Velandia in 2006, and they legally married in Connecticut in August 2010. Currently, Vandiver is a residential grad student in Whitman, getting his PhD in politics. Velandia teaches salsa lessons in Whitman and also founded his own dance studio called HotSalsaHot.
The battle: According to DOMA, passed in 1996, the national government does not recognize same-sex marriages, civil unions, or domestic partnerships. Because couples married in states with same-sex marriage laws do not receive any federal rights, Velandia could not obtain a green card via his spouse, unlike most heterosexual bi-national couples. When Velandia’s visa expired and his request for a new one was denied, the couple launched a campaign to stop his deportation that has gained national attention from CNN, The Advocate, and the New York Times.
More details after the jump. Also, check out the video of Josh and Henry’s wedding from their Facebook page, ”Save Our Marriage”: