An Australian man living in the US is among thousands of illegal immigrants in same-sex couples who may be eligible to have deportation orders put on hold under a new program, USA Today reports.

Anthony John Makk lives with his partner Bradford Wells, an American citizen, at their home in San Francisco. Makk is also the primary carer for Well, who suffers from an AIDS-related illness.

The US Department of Homeland Security will announce the move as part of a federal program to shift resources away from low-priority immigration cases.

Same-sex relationships will be considered along with other ‘family relationships’ specified under the program, but reprieves will still be granted on a case-by-case basis. Despite the announcement, same-sex partners of American citizens will continue to be denied the same residency and citizenship rights as heterosexual couples.

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