Family Law

Agarwal Law Offices has officially begun serving clients with family law needs. Accordingly, we will be updating our “News” section to include relevant family law news so that our clients are up-to-date with recent Massachusetts developments.

Same-Sex Immigrant Petitions

Statement from Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano:

“After last week’s decision by the Supreme Court holding that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, President Obama directed federal departments to ensure the decision and its implication for federal benefits for same-sex legally married couples are implemented swiftly and smoothly. To that end, effective immediately, I have directed U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to review immigration visa petitions filed on behalf of a same-sex spouse in the same manner as those filed on behalf of an opposite-sex spouse.”

Accordingly, a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident in a same-sex marriage to a foreign national can sponsor his or her spouse for a family-based immigrant visa.

USCIS determines your eligibility to petition for your spouse and your spouse’s admissibility as an immigrant according to the applicable immigration law. USCIS will not automatically deny the petition as a result of the same-sex nature of your marriage.

USCIS looks to the law of the place where your marriage took place when determining whether it is valid for immigration law purposes. Federal immigration agencies historically have considered both the law of the state of residence and the state in which the marriage legally took place. Every case will depend on individual, fact-specific circumstances.

The House to Pass Immigration Bill

While the Senate recently passed comprehensive immigration reform, the bill has yet to pass through the Republic-controlled House. There have been numerous proponents of the bill, and most recently, Jeb Bush made a case for House passage of the bill:

“No Republican would vote for legislation that stifled economic growth, promoted illegal immigration, added to the welfare rolls, and failed to ensure a secure border. Yet they essentially will do just that if they fail to pass comprehensive immigration reform—and leave in place a system that does all of those things.

To grow economically, the nation needs more young workers, as the population is aging and its growth is slowing. Yet only 13% of the immigration visas each year are issued for work or special skills. Nearly two-thirds go to relatives of existing residents, under an expansive definition of family preferences that includes not just spouses and minor children but parents, siblings and unmarried adult children.”

To continue reading Jeb Bush’s argument for House passage of immigration reform, click here.

Senate passes Immigration Reform

Last week, the Senate passed comprehensive immigration reform that would put 11 million undocumented people on a path to earning citizenship.

The bill’s authors spent months crafting the 1,000-plus-page document, which pours $46 billion into border security and other efforts, including electronic employment verification and a modernized entry-exit system.

It requires immigrants to pass background checks, pay fees, fines and back taxes, learn English, gain employment, and as Reid said, “stay out of trouble.”

To continue reading, click here.