Gay Lover Faces Deportation, Immigration Reform No Help
Tim Coco, Left, sits with the love of his life, Genesio "Junior" Oliveira
If you are an undocumented worker and fall in love with a US citizen girl of your dreams, you can marry her and then immigrate to the US. Unfortunately, if you fall in love with the man of your dreams, you are out of luck. There is no parity for gay couples in immigration law, nor is a solution proposed in the immigration reform law talked about recently. Homosexuals are victims of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
Genesio Oliveira, “Junior”, is a 31 year old man from Brazil who fell in love with US citizen Tim Coco. When a judge ruled gay and lesbian couples had a right to the same protections offered heterosexual couples in Massachusetts, therefore allowing gay marriages, the two were one of the first in line to get a license and recite their vows. They have enjoyed three years in a loving relationship. If this had been a straight relationship the couple would have lived happily forever after once they navigated a complicated immigration system. Since Tim and Junior are gay, getting married only complicated things.
The church of the Unitarian Universalist Society, Denver Pride 2010
While Massachusetts recognizes Tim and Junior as being married, the federal government refuses to recognize the marriage. DOMA prevents it because it says only a male and female constitute a marriage. That precludes the limited remedies provided to married immigrant couples under current law.
Most waivers available to married couples are not available to Tim and Junior. For example, if one of them was disabled, or had AIDS, the other could not assert the “extreme and unusual hardship” standard available to married couples.
Initially, Junior petitioned for asylum claiming he would be subject to discrimination if he was returned to Brazil. He related the horrifying experience of being raped as a youth. The judge was sympathetic about the rape, but he didn’t buy Junior's claim of danger when he returns to Brazil. His petition was denied.Continued on the next page