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San Francisco binational gay couple ‘elated’ over deferred deportation

By Chris Johnson
Washington Blade
Friday, January 6, 2012

Bradford Wells breathed a sigh of relief this week following the news that his Australian-native spouse, Anthony Makk, won’t be forced to leave the United States anytime soon.

“I’m absolutely elated,” Wells said. “The pressing issue of my family being destroyed has been dealt with for the time being.”

Anthony Makk and Bradford Wells. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.)

On Wednesday, Wells, 56, received a letter from U.S. Customs & Immigration Services that potential deportation action on Makk, 49, won’t happen for at least two years.

Wells said he received the news while watching the Republican presidential candidates on television and feeling discouraged by their anti-gay rhetoric when he received an unexpected phone call.

“It was Nancy Pelosi calling,” Wells said. “She called to tell me that the problem had been solved and Anthony had been given deferred action and that my family would be together. The deferred action was good for two years. That gave me such a feeling of joy and relief.”

Wells and Makk met with House Minority Leader Pelosi (D-Calif.) to discuss their situation in D.C. during an October meeting, according to The Advocate.

Makk said he was “over the moon happy” upon hearing about the deferred action because it means his efforts to stay in the United States haven’t been in vain.

“To be able to remain here legally has been important to us, and it always has been,” Makk said. “The fact that they don’t grant this [deferred action] to many people at all makes this even more special.”

Under current immigration law, straight Americans can sponsor their foreign spouses for residency in the United States through a marriage-based green card application, but the same option isn’t available to gay bi-national couples because the Defense of Marriage Act prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriage.

Consequently, foreign nationals in same-sex marriages could be deported if they’re undocumented or upon the expiration of their green cards. Makk was in the United States from 2000 to 2010 under a business visa, but after his company shut down, he lost his visa status and faced separation from the country.

For Wells, the prospect of being separated from his spouse was distressing because he has AIDS and depends on his spouse for care.

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Filed under: California

19 more reader comments:

  1. Yeah for love!

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 5:06pm
  2. Seriously The AMERICAN Govnt. needs to get a grip… Take Canadas lead on same sex marriage..

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 5:08pm
  3. What Darryl said…and on steroids! This is such great news to hear. Hooray for Bradford and Anthony.

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 5:09pm
  4. When this gentlemen meet his now husband why did he not then start the process to become a US citizen? Im sorry but if someone is here illegally, gay or straight, they should be deported. and before some of you get mad at my comment let me say this, I am a lesbian and guess what else, my now fiance is from another country, she immigrated here the way that many others do, she did not come here on a work visa and expect to be allowed to stay here without going through the right process.

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 5:15pm
  5. Great News!!!!! You are my hero Anthony Makk!

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 5:19pm
  6. Congratulations to the couple and all who sacrifice to stand up to the haters for all of us and teach us that love and hope can prevail forall in the LGBTQ nation.

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 5:24pm
  7. I wonder if Texas can marry gays .-..-
    Me and my girlfriend are engaged <3

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 5:41pm
  8. Texas? Really? With RICK PERRY there? You’d have a better chance in San Fransisco.

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 5:56pm
  9. @ Darryl. This lies with the Congress and Senate. Uniting Families of America Act is what needs to pass. Please write your senator and congress person to get them on board to pass this act! I am in a 10 year relationship with my US partner. I am from Cananda and we have run into many many roadblocks for me to stay here.

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 6:35pm
  10. We need a thank you letter sent out to Pelosi.

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 6:35pm
  11. Eh yeah that’s we’re my girlfriend lives and idk it’s not cheep in San Jose.

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 7:06pm
  12. @ Paintedleofemme. I am sorry to jump you here but please do not judge their situation. The only reason they got onto the radar is they challenged the DOMA by getting married and that was reason for INS to deport his partner. They were still legal in the country to that point as far as anyone is aware.
    I am in the same situation. I have been in a bi-national 10 year relationship and we have chosen to live in Sacramento. I have gone through the legal avenues completely to this point right now. I am a nurse (LPN) from Canada but cannot get a work visa because work visas are geared to RN’s To get a work visa an employer must directly sponsor you(LPN) to work, in which they have to prove that there are no other workers to fill that job here in the U.S.. Do you think that Immigration would approve that application with today’s economic environment. No way in hell. I have tried it. Employers ran so fast the other way it wasn’t funny. I have had to resort to going back to college and am on a student visa at this time. This has been a huge financial drain our finances, as they gouge the hell out of International students for tutition. What state residents pay for a class is only a fraction of what I pay. This has not been a cheap nor non-stressed option for me. My partner cannot sponsor me, nor can I marry her. It is wrong in so many ways. Why should we have to jump through hoops just to stay within the parameters of legal stay, while a hetero male can look in an online bridal catalogue, marry an overseas woman and BOOM! She is here legally. Something is very very very wrong with that picture. I do not like being treated as a second class citizen. My question to you is this. Did your fiance immigrate to the country prior to you meeting her. Or did she get a work visa? Or did she lie on the application and get the by immigration nose. I can not legally apply for a green card, as I have been in a relationship with my partner since ’02. Our case is well documented and has been since day one. To lie now on an application would be grounds for deportation immediately. Why do you say?

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 7:07pm
  13. Good! We have to keep fighting.

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 8:46pm
  14. What wonderful news!!!!!

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 8:48pm
  15. Good News

    Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 9:22pm
  16. I say yes to gay marriage<3

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 12:40pm
  17. i say no to fucking gay marriage , all you fags are dick sucking motherfucking homos , all of you perpritating ass nigggas , i hope all of you fucking burn in hell with all of the other homoqueers . i hope you all know that your going to hell , cause thats where your going to end up with satins dick in your mouth and ass at the same time , fucking lesbians and dykes and transvestites . i also say to all the straight people out there , that if you have hate in your heart then let it oiut on these motherfucking “different” DOUSCHBAGGS , i hate you and hope that the rest of your life sucks because i hate you ! :)

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 7:03pm
  18. that is just so rude and disrespectful. Its one thing to disagree but you are just a disgusting. ^

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 9:37pm
  19. Where’s the dislike button (for Steve Douche above) when you need one?

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 11:54pm