NEWARK, N.J. (The Blaze/AP) -- A deportation order has been canceled for a Venezuelan man who married his same-sex partner in the United States.
Advocates say that renews hope for thousands of same-sex multinational couples across the U.S. Watch the two explain their dilemma prior to this unprecedented decision:
Henry Velandia had asked to remain in America as the legal spouse of U.S. citizen Josh Vandiver. They live in New Jersey but were married last year in Connecticut, where same-sex marriage is legal. According to The Daily Princetonian:
The announcement comes after a yearlong legal battle by the couple to prevent Velandia from being forced to leave the country. In May, Vandiver and Velandia appeared with a crowd of supporters at a courthouse in Newark to argue against Velandia’s deportation.
A Newark immigration judge put Velandia's deportation on hold in May, citing U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's intervention in the case of another New Jersey gay man facing deportation.
Holder has said the Obama administration will no longer support the Defense of Marriage Act in court. The act defines marriage as between a man and a woman.
Velandia received word Wednesday of the cancellation. Following the public announcement that he and his husband made earlier today, New Jersey Rep. Rush Holt put out a press release in support of the couple. According to the Princetonian, it said:
"Over the past year, Henry and Josh have courageously served as symbols in the fight against marriage discrimination. I know that they will continue to battle discrimination in all its forms, but I hope that, now that their personal fight has reached its end, they may enjoy the happiness and peace that they deserve."
As The New York Times reported, this decision comes at the same time that immigration officials are considering looser guidelines for the deferral and cancellation of deportations. This is especially true for immigrants without serious criminal records.
Specifically, this case will likely pave the way for same-sex couples who find themselves facing similar immigration obstacles.