For the first time since the Department of Homeland Security's ( DHS ) Nov. 17 announcement that a national "working group" had begun reviewing all cases pending in immigration courts, Immigration & Customs Enforcement ( ICE ) has closed a deportation case involving a married same-sex couple, according to StopTheDeportations.com .
Immigration judge Terry Bain granted a joint motion to administratively close removal proceedings against lesbian Monica Alcota, an Argentinian national, because "good cause has been established."
Alcota's lawyer, Lavi Soloway, submitted the request for administrative closure to ICE Chief Counsel in Manhattan Nov. 14. The request was based on her marriage to her spouse, Cristina Ojeda, who is a U.S. citizen; her roots in the community in which she lives and works; her activism against the Defense of Marriage Act; and the absence of any adverse factors.
Alcota and Ojeda issued a statement that reads, in part, "We are grateful that the government lawyers and the judge saw the humanity of our situation and respected our marriage. ... We must all continue to work to make sure no lesbian or gay couples are separated by deportation."