In case there was any doubt, U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials have confirmed that U.S. immigration benefits now will be extended to same-sex spouses. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano issued a statement on this point yesterday.

More information was shared in a question and answer session at the annual conference of the American Immigration Lawyers Association this week. Director Alejandro Mayorkas of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS, a division of DHS) said that USCIS has maintained a list of all I-130 immigrant petitions that were filed to sponsor same-sex spouses for permanent resident status based on marriage to a U.S. citizen, which were denied by USCIS in accordance with DOMA, and will take further action on those cases now that DOMA has been struck down as unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in the U.S. v. Windsor case.

Meanwhile the U.S. Senate passed its comprehensive immigration reform bill this week,S.744. The Washington Post blog has a concise explanation of three ways immigration reform could pass in the U.S. House of Representatives despite Republican opposition, and the conference process required for immigration reform to become law.