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Deportation of Partner in Same-Sex Couple Halted

Friday May 6, 2011
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NEWARK, N.J. - A Venezuelan salsa dancer who legally married an American man in a same-sex ceremony last year has had his deportation placed on hold.

The decision comes one day after U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder set aside a Board of Immigration Appeals ruling in a similar case.

Henry Velandia, who faces deportation to Venezuela, is petitioning to be allowed to remain in the U.S. as the spouse of U.S. citizen Josh Vandiver.

Judge Alberto Riefkohl granted an adjournment of the case Friday in a Newark immigration court.

At issue is who can be considered a spouse under federal law.

Velandia is a 27-year-old professional salsa dancer and Vandiver is a 29-year-old graduate student at Princeton University. They were married last year in Connecticut, where same-sex marriage is legal.

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