October 25, 2013
For Immediate Release
After almost a year of waiting, and after two summary denials by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (“USCIS”), we are pleased to announce that the Immediate Relative Petition and the Application for Adjustment of Status that was filed by our clients Gary Wanderlingh and Samuel Conlon were re-opened on August 1, 2013 and approved by the USCIS on October 11, 2013. On behalf of our clients, we are extremely happy in knowing that Gary and Sam were one of the first—if not the first—gay couple who had their immediate relative petitions granted by the USCIS in the State of Connecticut.
We wish to thank those who offered their support and assistance throughout Gary and Sam’s year long ordeal. Although by no means an exhaustive list, we would like to specifically thank Senator Richard Blumenthal and his staff, specially Mr. Anton Goldblatt, Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty and her staff, Attorney Peter Schey of the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law for all the support and assistance that they offered our office and our clients.
Upon hearing of the approval of our clients’ immigration petitions, Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty, who had met and spoken to Sam and Gary of various occasions, issued this comment:
“Since I met Gary and Sam this past spring, I have been continuously inspired by their strength and perseverance,” Esty said. “I’m thrilled that Gary and Sam can enjoy married life without fear of unjust immigration laws, and I am so proud to stand with them in the fight for true equality for all families.”
Similarly, Senator Richard Blumenthal, who had also met and spoken to Gary and Sam, and whose office was instrumental in the processing of this application, issued this comment:
“I am so pleased to see that Sam and Gary’s petition has been granted, finally providing this couple the immigration rights and security that all married couples are due. The swift reconsideration of petitions from same-sex couples in the wake of DOMA’s repeal was the right thing to do as a matter of law and humanitarian justice. I will continue to work to ensure the full end to all of the harmful vestiges of DOMA’s discriminatory regime.”
We respectfully ask the USCIS to expeditiously adjudicate all other previously denied and delayed same sex immediate relative petitions so that the legal uncertainty in those other families can be alleviated so that they can also move on with their lives.
Kevin E. Dehghani, Esq.
Attorney at Law