Tuesday, August 9, 2011
The Obama administration, citing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), has denied the immigration request of a married gay male San Francisco couple and ordered the expulsion of the man who is the primary caregiver to his AIDS-afflicted spouse.
Bradford Wells, a U.S. citizen, and Anthony John Makk, a citizen of Australia, were married seven years ago in Massachusetts. They have lived together 19 years, mostly in an apartment in the Castro district. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services denied Makk’s application to be considered for permanent residency as a spouse of an American citizen, citing the 1996 law that denies all federal benefits to same-sex couples.
The decision was issued July 26. Immigration Equality, a gay-rights group that is working with the couple, received the notice Friday and made it public Monday. Makk was ordered to depart the United States by Aug. 25. Makk is the sole caregiver for Wells, who has severe health problems.
“I’m married just like any other married person in this country,” Wells said. “At this point, the government can come in and take my husband and deport him. It’s infuriating. It’s upsetting. I have no power, no right to keep my husband in this country. I love this country, I live here, I pay taxes and I have no right to share my home with the person I married.”
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), has contacted immigration officials on behalf of the couple and “will be working to exhaust all appropriate immigration remedies that are open to pursue.”
There is no compelling reason for the Obama administration to split this same-sex, married couple up and target half of the pair for deportation under DOMA other than to make the increasingly diminished Obama look like a strong leader to independents and Reagan Democrats.