To be very clear, Obama administration can stop the deportation of Anthony John Makk

John wrote a post about the impending deportation of Anthony John Makk earlier today. It’s really a stunning story. Makk is an Australian who is legally married to a U.S. citizen Bradford Wells. They’ve been married for seven years. But, the Obama administration intends to deport Makk by August 25th.



Teddy Partridge at FireDogLake
is furious — and rightly so:

The Obama Administration has denied the request of a married couple in San Francisco, ordering the expulsion of one spouse who is the primary caregiver of his legally married husband with AIDS.

Team Obama is incapable of valuing our actual relationships, while making pretty speeches about DOMA’s unconstitutionality.

So, the Obama administration is using DOMA as an excuse when the Obama administration claims DOMA is unconstitutional. That’s bad enough. The Obama administration has the executive power to prevent this deportation. It does not have to happen.

I asked Steve Ralls from Immigration Equality to give us an explanation of the Obama administration’s options. Here’s what he wrote:

The Obama Administration can intervene – today – and keep Bradford and Anthony together. On May 17, the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security wrote, in a letter to Congress, that they retain authority “to exercise discretion in individual cases based on the unique factors presented by that particular case.” In June, ICE reiterated that position in a memorandum to field offices informing their agents that individuals who have U.S. citizen spouses or relatives, or are the primary caretakers for American citizens, should not be considered a priority for removal, and can, again, qualify for discretion. Despite both the letter and the memo, however, the Administration has not yet intervened in a single case for a lesbian or gay couple. Now would be a good time for them to do so, as American citizens are being torn apart from their spouses and partners. There is no question about the Administration’s ability to do so; the only question is whether they will exercise that ability on behalf of LGBT families.

Got that? There is no question about the Obama administration’s ability. Makk’s deportation does not have to happen.

On Sunday, Drew Westen wrote a powerful op-ed in the New York Times titled, “What Happened to Obama?,” which included this passage:

Like most Americans, at this point, I have no idea what Barack Obama — and by extension the party he leads — believes on virtually any issue. The president tells us he prefers a “balanced” approach to deficit reduction, one that weds “revenue enhancements” (a weak way of describing popular taxes on the rich and big corporations that are evading them) with “entitlement cuts” (an equally poor choice of words that implies that people who’ve worked their whole lives are looking for handouts). But the law he just signed includes only the cuts. This pattern of presenting inconsistent positions with no apparent recognition of their incoherence is another hallmark of this president’s storytelling. He announces in a speech on energy and climate change that we need to expand offshore oil drilling and coal production — two methods of obtaining fuels that contribute to the extreme weather Americans are now seeing. He supports a health care law that will use Medicaid to insure about 15 million more Americans and then endorses a budget plan that, through cuts to state budgets, will most likely decimate Medicaid and other essential programs for children, senior citizens and people who are vulnerable by virtue of disabilities or an economy that is getting weaker by the day. He gives a major speech on immigration reform after deporting a million immigrants in two years, breaking up families at a pace George W. Bush could never rival in all his years as president.

One of the families Obama is intent to break up is that of Anthony Makk and Bradford Wells. The President or someone who works for him needs to fix this. And, fast.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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