Traffic Stop Leads to Deportation Hearing for Gay Immigrant

Published: March 22, 2012

Bay Area couple Alfonso Garcia and Brian Willingham are set to be in a San Francisco immigration court this afternoon, hoping to prevent Garcia’s deportation due to his undocumented status, which was discovered during a routine traffic stop.

Garcia, who was born in Mexico and brought to the United States as a child, and Willingham, a U.S. citizen, have been together since 2001. They married last year in New York State and have a registered domestic partnership in California, but the Defense of Marriage Act prohibits the federal government from recognizing their relationship and therefore allowing Willingham to sponsor Garcia for legal residency. “If they were an opposite-sex couple, we wouldn’t have this discussion right now,” attorney Lavi Soloway, who is helping several same-sex binational couples fight deportations, told CNN.

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