Marriage Rights for Immigrants

July 29, 2013

The Kent County Clerk’s office refuses to issue marriage licenses to individuals who do not have social security numbers unless the individual appears in person to sign an affidavit.

In July 2013, a young Kent County woman tried to get a license to marry her fiancé who was being held in immigration detention. The clerk’s office refused to allow the marriage because the prospective husband could not physically appear in the clerk’s office to sign the affidavit.

The ACLU of Michigan intervened, informing the clerk that marriage is a fundamental right which is not lost simply because a person is incarcerated. The clerk agreed to issue the license, and the couple were able to marry.

(ACLU Attorney Miriam Aukerman.)

View the full 2013-2014 Legal Docket.