Judge Blocks Louisiana Law That Kept Refugee In Lafayette From Marrying
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal judge has cleared the way for a foreign-born U.S. citizen to get a marriage license in Louisiana, despite a law that took effect last year requiring him to have a birth certificate.
U.S. District Judge Ivan Lemelle blocked the law Wednesday.
Viet Anh Vo and Heather Pham had planned to marry last year. But Vo couldn't get a license because he had no birth certificate.
The 32-year-old Vo was born in an Indonesian refugee camp after his parents fled Vietnam.
The law was aimed at deterring foreigners from gaining visas and citizenship through sham marriages. Its sponsor, Republican Rep. Valarie Hodges of Denham Springs, said she intended to provide for waivers for people like Vo. She said she's drafting legislation to address the problem.
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