Queens couple married, but still face deportation

Cristina Ojeda, 25, and Monica Alcota, 36, fear being separated due to deportation, even though the two are legally married.

As gay and lesbian couples around the city make plans to wed, two Queens women are terrified that their marriage isn’t good enough to prevent them from being ripped 5,000 miles apart.

Monica Alcota, 36, an Argentinean immigrant, is embroiled in deportation proceedings — even though she is married to Cristina Ojeda, a U.S. citizen. They were legally married in Connecticut in 2010, but Alcota’s tourist visa expired in 2001.

Ojeda, 25, filed a petition asking that Alcota be classified as the spouse of a U.S. citizen, but the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services denied her request in May, despite the fact that gay marriage is now legal in both Connecticut and New York.

The couple is now waiting until their next hearing in December to find out if Alcota will be deported.
Their lawyer, Lavi Soloway, blames the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The hotly contested law bars giving a spouse in a same-sex marriage the same protections as in a straight marriage.

As they wait to hear their fate, the couple avoids flying, driving or even going out for a drink together because Alcota lacks identification.

She is terrified to be in a car for risk of being pulled over by police. In July 2009, while they were traveling from Buffalo, Border Patrol officers pulled her off a Greyhound bus when she could not provide an ID. She spent three months in a detention center.

“It’s hard for her to go to the bank, to go to the post office,” Ojeda said.  “We live day by day.”

Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter @AlisonatMetro


Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.


Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.


OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…


Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."


Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."


'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…


Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.


Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.


Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…


Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…


VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.


#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.


Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.


Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.