Christopher and Joseph were legally married in the fictitious U.S. state of Petoria in August of 2012. Petoria State Code O.C.P.A. § 9-2-37(b)(5) defines marriage as a union between any two individuals, over the age of 18. Christopher is a U.S. citizen, and Joseph is from Beijing. They are both twenty-five (25) years old. Christopher and Joseph are buying a home together, and they share in the household duties and expenses, and they have bills in each of their names. Christopher and Joseph were college sweethearts and knew each other for six (6) years prior to their 2012 marriage.
Christopher has decided to file a family-based petition on Joseph’s behalf as his spouse. Christopher and Joseph talk to the senior partner at your firm and ask if the firm will handle the case. Before giving them an answer, the senior partner asks that you research whether Christopher and Joseph will face any challenges in attempting to file their petition as this issue has never been addressed at your office.
There are no courts in Petoria that have previously ruled on this issue. However, the senior partner seems to think that the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled on a similar case out of California in the 1980s. The senior partner asks that you find the U.S. Court of Appeals case and draft her a memorandum based on that case stating answering the following questions:
1) will Joseph be considered Christopher’s immediate relative spouse under the Immigration & Nationality Act for purposes of filing the petition; and
2) what effect will the fact that Petoria recognizes Christopher and Joseph’s marriage have upon USCIS’s decision?
Note: There is also a 2013 Supreme Court case that can and should be used in addition to the 1980 U.S. Court of Appeals case. Please quote the case law in the memo