You may be aware of the unenviable position that Bradford Wells and Anthony John Makk, a same-sex couple who live in San Francisco, find themselves in.
Wells and Makk have lived together 19 years. Seven years ago, they wed in Massachussetts, where same-sex marriages are legal. Makk is the primary caregiver for Wells, who has AIDS. He is also, however, a citizen of Australia, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will not grant him permanent residency as the spouse of a U.S. citizen, because the Defense of Marriage Act specifically prohibits such federal benefits to same-sex couples. Earlier this year, the Obama administration said it would stop defending the law in court, but it is still currently the law of the land.
In July, ICE ordered Makk to leave the country by August 25. But the couple has appealed the decision, which has bought them some extra time, and last week the Obama administration announced that it is de-emphasizing "low-priority" deportation cases that meet certain criteria, some of which Makk and Wells meet. On Monday, a San Francisco judge, at the request of immigration officials, closed a deportation case against a Venezuelan who had overstayed his visa but had married an American citizen.
On Monday, KQED's Mina Kim talked to Bradford Wells about his situation. An edited transcript follows the audio below.
Interview with Bradford Wells Part 1