Hours from deportation hearing, gay couple gets DOMA decision just in time

Posted at 7:38 PM, Jun 28, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-03 14:11:39-04

NEW YORK (PIX11) —  20 minutes to change a life.

That’s all it took when Sean Brooks and Steven Infante appeared before an immigration judge in Supreme Court hearing New York on Wednesday. Infante, originally from Colombia, married Brooks in 2011 after they dated each other for 10 years. Originally here on a tourist visa, he faced deportation.

While their court hearing was scheduled months ago, no one could have predicted Wednesday would bring a landmark decision by the Supreme Court in Washington DC. And that’s where the crucial 20 minutes came into play.

While the couple from Queens was in court, staffers at their law firm five blocks away were waiting for the Supreme Court to post their decision, so they could then print the 77 page document to have an intern run it over to their hearing.

Once it arrived, the immigration judge turned to the prosecution asking “do we have a case here?”

And so in 20 minutes, while many in this country celebrated, real legal implications resulted from the Supreme Court decision.