WASHINGTON (AP) — Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says the government will start reviewing applications for green cards and other immigration benefits for same-sex couples.
Napolitano says her agency is taking the action in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling last week that extends federal benefits to same sex couples in states where they are legally married.
Before last week’s ruling, U.S. citizens married to a same-sex partner from another country could not qualify for immigration benefits for their spouses, including green cards. Napolitano has directed immigration officials to begin immediately reviewing applications for green cards, visas and other immigration benefits filed on behalf of a same-sex spouse by a U.S. citizen.
At least one immigration petition for a same-sex couple in Florida has already been approved.