(Associated Press) Amid pressure from Democratic lawmakers, Homeland Security officials reiterated Friday that a foreigner’s longstanding same-sex relationship with a U.S. citizen could help stave off the threat of deportation.

Binational “gay” couples are eligible for consideration under a federal program designed to focus resources away from low-priority deportation cases and let officials spend more time tracking down convicted criminals, said Marsha Catron, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security.

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