When a person is charged with a drunk driving offense, her or she faces serious penalties all the way from license suspension to possible incarceration. Those consequences can be serious enough, but they do not uproot a person from everything and everyone that they know. When a person without full U.S. Citizenship is charged with a crime, they face deportation in addition to other consequences.
The Emperor of the Imperial Court de San Diego, a private non-profit LGBT organization, was arrested on Feb. 5, 2012. He was pulled over by a traffic officer who observed him changing lanes without first signaling the traffic maneuver. When he pulled him over, the officer suspected that he was under the influence and took him into custody.
Law enforcement officials learned that the man had entered the United States on a legal J1 student visa that had recently expired. When they learned of his immigration status, Immigration & Customs Enforcement officials were called. The ICE officials then detained him and placed an “indefinite hold” on his case, making him ineligible for bail.
The 37-year-old man has found himself in the frightening situation simply because of his sexual preferences. The man was married in 2008 to his partner during the small window of time when same-sex marriage was legal in California. Immigrants who marry a U.S. citizen are normally granted the same status.
The Defense of Marriage Act prevents the same-sex marriage from being legally recognized on a federal level and thus making the man subject to deportation despite his marriage to a U.S. citizen.
Situations such as his may seem unique, but non-citizens all across California face deportation after being charged with a crime. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime and face being forced to leave everything that you know, immigration attorneys can help. They will fight on your side, for your rights.
Source: San Diego Gay & Lesbian News, “VIDEOS: Imperial Court royalty faces deportation,” Ben Cartwright, Feb. 10, 2012