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Lesbian mother to be deported

PinkNews Staff Writer March 31, 2009
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A lesbian is likely to be deported from her California home on Friday, despite living with her life partner, her 12-year-old twin sons and her mother-in-law. reports that Shirley Tan will soon learn if she is to be sent back to the Philippines after applying asylum in the US due to facing violence from a family member in her native country.

If she and partner Jay Mercado were straight and married, Ms Mercado could sponsor her for immigration but federal law prohibits this, defining marriage as being between a man and a woman.

Campaigners have said the case illustrates the need for Congress to pass the Uniting Americans Families Act, which currently has 110 co-sponsors.

“Until the UAFA passes, families like Jay and Shirley’s are at terrible risk,” Immigration Equality Executive Director Rachel B. Tiven said in a statement on Monday.

“We are hopeful their members of Congress will introduce a private bill that would spare their twin boys and the boys’ grandmother from having the country they love tear their family apart.”

Ms Tan applied for political asylum in 1995, and believed her case to be pending, until immigration officials knocked on her door this January.

She told the San Jose Mercury News that her former lawyer never told her a deportation order was issued in 2002.

She was not granted asylum because her life had been threatened by a relative in the Philippines in connection with an inheritance dispute, instead of the government.

The family may have to decide whether to live apart or move to the Philippines.

Related topics: Americas

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