Federal government does not recognize same-sex partnerships, orders break up of 23-year relationship
The lawyers are going to be scrambling in California. Perhaps some have already been put on retainers.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement isof Shirley Tan, 23-year partner of Jay Mercado who is also female. The couple has twin 12-year old sons.
Tan, 43, was first permitted to stay in the U.S. in 1995 when she applied for political asylum. She said at the time she feared for her life. In the Philippines, her home country, she was shot nearly two decades prior by a relative in a dispute over an inheritance.
The federal government, however, recognizes only a marriage between a man and a woman.
The Board of Immigration Appeals turned down Tan’s request in 2002 but nobody, not her previous lawyer, not nobody, told her.
She found out she had to leave the country when immigration agents showed up at their home in Pacifica to take her into custody a few days ago.
And the kids? And her partner? What about them? …..
Though I am not an advocate of same-sex marriage, it is still heart wrenching to see a family unit torn apart in this way. Why don’t they send the lawyers away or the folk who didn’t have the decency to let these four know what was coming?
“I’m not an activist,” Tan was quoted as saying. “We’re just common people living a peaceful and happy life, and then this happens.”
Not any more. They have three weeks to find a solution or Tan is on her way back to the P.I.
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