Los Angeles (CNN) — A federal immigration court judge in San Francisco put a deportation proceeding on hold Friday for a gay California man who is an undocumented immigrant and married to a man who is a U.S. citizen, the couple’s attorney said.
Alfonso Garcia, 35, who came to the United States as a boy with his parents, and his husband, Brian Willingham, 37, are petitioning the federal immigration service for legal residency based on their marriage, said attorney Lavi Soloway.
The judge put Garcia’s deportation proceeding on hold while Garcia’s legal residency, or green card, application is being processed, Soloway said.
The next immigration court hearing is October 27, the attorney said.
The couple lawfully married in New York and are registered domestic partners in California living in the San Francisco Bay area, but the federal immigration court doesn’t recognize gay marriage under the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between opposite sex couples, Soloway said.