The Supreme Court’s decision yesterday ruling DOMA unconstitutional gave the new Immigration Reform legislation a boost in the possibility of passage. Whether or not to grant same-sex couples immigration benefits was a highly contentious issue that was likely to cause the downfall of the Bill.
Before the Supreme Court acted, roughly 36,000 American citizens were specifically barred from applying for green cards for their same-sex spouses. But following the ruling, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano confirmed that any legally valid marriage of a U.S. citizen would be recognized for immigration benefit, making the issue moot for Congress to debate with the new legislation. Now, if immigration reform passes Congress, same-sex couples will automatically be covered by the new law without any extra debate or amendments.