Lesbian couple files class action lawsuit federal govt over immigration issues

Jen and Dawn Barbouroske (L) and their daughters McKinley and Bre  pose at a news conference with same-sex couples who asked to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act in Washington, DC, on September 15, 2009.
Jen and Dawn Barbouroske (L) and their daughters McKinley and Bre pose at a news conference with same-sex couples who asked to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act in Washington, DC, on September 15, 2009. Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

A lesbian couple from Santa Ana has filed a federal class-action lawsuit in an effort to get a green card for one of the spouses while hopefully putting a stop to the deportation of other same-sex married couples.

Jane DeLeon, an immigrant from the Philippines, came to the US in 1989 with a male partner but has been living in Irvine with U.S. citizen Irma Rodriguez since 1992. The couple received a legal Californian marriage in 2008.

Last year, DeLeon filed paperwork to get her green card but was denied because the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) does not recognize same-sex marriages.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will not comment on individual cases, but a spokesperson with the agency says it will continue to enforce the law until Congress repeals it or a court finds it unconstitutional.

DeLeon, Rodriguez and their son, Martin Aranas, have also filed the class action lawsuit on behalf of other same-sex couples where one of them may face deportation.

The suit alleges that the Defense of Marriage Act denies gay couples equal protection of the law in violation of the Constitution.

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