North Carolina native Teri Lovo-Ciccone filed a petition for a spousal visa for her El Salvadorian husband, Jose Lovo-Lara. Although Jose has been legally working in this country under a temporary protected immigration status, a spousal visa would ensure that the couple would not be separated if Jose's temporary status should expire. Teri's petition was denied, however, because she is a transgender female (i.e., she was born male). The ACLU appealed the decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals, arguing that since Teri has a valid North Carolina birth certificate which recognizes her as female, her marriage is a valid heterosexual marriage under the laws of that state, and the federal government has no basis for refusing to recognize the marriage for immigration purposes. The Board of Immigration Appeals agreed with the ACLU and approved Lovo-Lara's petition.
Status: Spousal visa granted