Local Pols Fight to Keep Same-Sex Couple on Long Island

South Africa native Tim Smulian's visa expired at the end of 2011, but he's since been granted permission to stay in New York for another year.

Saturday, Feb 11, 2012  |  Updated 8:52 AM EDT
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Pols Fight to Keep Same-Sex Couple in NY

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Sens. Schumer and Gillibrand, along with Long Island congressman Timothy Bishop, have successfully lobbied immigration officials on behalf of a same-sex couple.

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Several New York politicians say they have successfully lobbied immigration officials on behalf of a same-sex couple.
 
Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, along with Long Island congressman Timothy Bishop, say immigration officials have granted permission for South African Tim Smulian to remain in the United States for another year.

 
They say the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services granted him "deferred action'' status.  
 
Smulian's visa expired at the end of 2011. 
 
He is married to Edwin Blesch of Orient, on eastern Long Island. They have been together 12 years.
 
Blesch has HIV and is seriously ill; Smulian wants to stay in New York to care for his spouse.
 
The couple says in a release issued by Gillibrand they are relieved.
 
Schumer says it's the "right and humane thing to do.''

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