[pdf] Affidavits of Support and Enforceability Bench Card (June 13, 2024) (+)

This bench card provides an overview of the two forms of Affidavits of Support that state family court judges may be asked to enforced as part of a divorce action involving an immigrant spouse who was sponsored for their “green card” by their U.S. citizen spouse. It discusses the history and enforceability of the Form I-864 Affidavit of Support and the evidence value of both the I-864 Affidavit of Support and the older Form I-134 Affidavit of Support. It also illustrates for judges and family law attorneys how to calculate the support due by the citizen spouse to the immigrant spouse under the I-864 Affidavit of Support. The Bench Card includes citations to and reports case law on Affidavits of Support.

[pdf] I-134-Form-Instructions (+)

These instruction are for the Forn-134 Affidavit of Support. After December 19, 1997 this form can no longer be used by U.S. Citizens or lawful permanent residents sponsoring family members for lawful permanent residency and form I-864 must be used for this purpose. The I-134 continues to be available for limited purposes which include use by an immigrant who needs a sponsor in order to avoid being found inadmissible to the United States on public charge grounds. It is also important to note that the form I-134 was used by citizens and lawful permanent residents to sponsor spouses and children prior to December 19, 1997 after which the Form I-864 was required instead of the I-134. Thus, judges and family lawyers who encounter affidavits of support in divorce cases will see I-134 Affidavits of support in cases involving marriages prior to December 1997. Comparing this instruction form with the instructions for form I-864 will provide useful information for Affidavit of Support enforcement purposes and evidentiary purposes in spousal and child support cases.

[pdf] Kumar v. Kumar California Court of Appeals (September 26 2016) (+)

Kumar v. Kumar (California Court of Appeals) NIWAP served as sole amicus in a case in which a California state family court judge imposed the duty to mitigate that applies in contract cases and alimony cases to an immigrant spouse, in this case a battered immigrant spouse, seeking to enforce the Affidavit of Support her husband signed with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security when he sponsored her to attain legal permanent residency status. The brief cited case law from other states and law review articles discussing current state family court practice allowing immigrant spouses to enforce affidavits of support in family court cases. The brief provided legislative history and social science data supporting the position imposing a duty to mitigate undermines the legislative purpose of the Affidavit of Support and in the case of battered immigrant spouses the Violence Against Women Act. (Crowell and Moring: September 26, 2016)

[pdf] Affidavits Are Forever: Public Charge, Domestic Violence, and the Enforceability of Immigration Law’s Affidavit of Support (November 30, 2022) (+)

Law review article covering the history and court decisions regarding the enforceability of Affidavits of Support I-864. This article discusses how affidavits of support offer critical access to financial support for abused sponsored immigrants. I key focus of the article is the impact that affidavits of support have on U.S. citizen and lawful permanent resident sponsoring spouses who are victims of spouse abuse perpetrated by the sponsor’s immigrant spouse whom the victim spouse can enforce the affidavit of support against their victim spouse and the victim spouse is under current law required to continuing supporting their abusive spouse or former spouse under the affidavit. The article proposes policy solutions that could end the requirement that an abused sponsor continue making affidavit of support payments to their abuser.

*Winning Custody Cases for Immigrant Survivors: the Clash of Laws, Cultures, Custody and Parental Rights (2017)

Veronica T. Thronson, Carole Angel, Soraya Fata, Rocio Molina, Benish Anver, Kalli Wells and Leslye E. Orloff, Winning Custody Cases for Immigrant Survivors: The Clash of Laws, Cultures, Custody and Parental Rights.  9 Fam. & Intimate Partner Violence Q. 2-3, 1-169 (2017) This article discusses a wide range of topics that arise in custody cases […]

[pdf] NIWAP Amicus Brief Kumar v Kumar (September 16, 2016) (+)

Amicus Brief in an enforcement of an affidavit of support case brought on behalf of an immigrant spouse who was a domestic violence victim. The brief argues the sponsored spouses must be permitted to enforce the I-864 affidavit of support in family court divorce proceedings as a contract and that common law and state spousal support laws may impose duties to mitigate do not apply to affidavit of support enforcement actions. The brief discusses the history and purpose of the affidavit of support and the particular importance of allowing its enforcement in divorce cases and not requiring a separate civil contract enforcement case in cases of battered immigrant spouses. In discussing the legislative history of the statute the brief discusses its relationship to the Violence Against Women Act and the reason VAWA self-petitioners were exempted from deeming, affidavits of support and given access to public benefits as part of the same 1996 law that created the I-864 Affidavit of support.

[pdf] Kumar v Kumar CA Ct App (July 28, 2017) (+)

Decision of the California Court of Appeals confirming that Affidavits of Support are enforceable by the sponsored spouse, in this case an abused spouse, in family court as part of a divorce proceeding. enforcement of the affidavit of support is independent of spousal support laws. Courts cannot impose a duty to mitigate that may apply in spousal support cases to enforcement requested by a sponsored spouse in a divorce proceeding. Enforcement of an affidavit of support is enforcement of the contract between the sponsor and the U.S. government by the beneficiary of that contract envisioned by the federal statute and regulations governing affidavits of support. This case provides an summary or prior affidavit of support decisions in other jurisdictions and an analysis that addresses the few decisions that based on the facts and pleadings in those specific cases could be construed to reach a different conclusion but are distinguished by this court.

[pdf] Bench Card for State Court Judges on Common Issues that Arise From Parties’ Immigration Status: Economic Remedies (March 10, 2022) (+)

This bench card provides information for state court judges on issues unique to immigrants, such as: eligibility to work, eligibility to receive benefits and services, the impact of Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITINs) and use of immigration affidavits of support in family and juvenile court proceedings and mandatory detention. The purpose of this bench card is to provide a quick reference and to help judges identify immigration issues that might affect the range of outcomes available in cases before them. The information contained in this bench card provides accurate information on work authorization, benefits access, assurances made to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regarding support of family members, and information about immigrants who will be paying taxes and be able to submit tax returns to the court.