My college, Goddard, has a saying “trust the process.” While the process we talk about is different than the one that we have seen, what it usually means is, trust how things work and it will get you were you need to go, which is not necessarily where you want to go. This saying applies to one of the battles that we avoided in Congress- the Uniting American Families Act. It was suppose to be part of the immigration reform bill.
Today’s ruling invalidating the section of DOMA that prevented the federal government from recognizing same-sex couples’ marriages means that the UAFA is no longer necessary. Binational couples can, now, apply for and get green cards based upon their marital status. Immigration reform didn’t wait for the bill to pass. It came today thanks to Justice Anthony Kennedy and the four liberal judges on the Supreme Court.
In this one case, President Barack Obama was absolutely right. Why fight for the UAFA and this aspect of LGBT immigration rights when DOMA going down would end the need for it? Sometimes, you just have to trust the process.
The Court’s decision will not end the battle over LGBT rights, but with this decision, the binational couples are now no longer in fear of being deported or having to choose between one nation and the other. In some cases, that choice meant between a civilized nation and one where they could end up dead.
So, in the light of this victory, let us not forget that today is a day that changes a lot of things, especially for those who love someone from another nation. Today, they get to celebrate by filling out a ton of federal forms and getting to see their wife or husband become a legal resident of the United States.
Sometimes, the most beautiful thing in the world is knowing that someone else is happy.
This immigration battle is over, but we do have a lot of work to do to make sure that the dignity of those who seek to live in or work in the United States is assured.
And now, Snoopy dancing: