[pdf] Senjab v. Alhulaibi (September 25 2020) Supreme Court of Nevada (+)

NIWAP filed an amicus brief confirming that for purposes of jurisdiction in divorce cases residence can be established without regard to the immigration status of the party seeking divorce. This is a case in which an abusive spouse argued successfully to the trial court below that a visa holder spouse (in this case a student visa holder) could not file for divorce (custody and child support) in Nevada because her visa is only temporary, and she could never obtain a divorce in NV despite the state being the victim and her abusive spouse’s state of residence. The victim otherwise met the residency requirements. This could have had broad implications for all visa holders in the U.S. if the trial court’s ruling was not overturned. Instead, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled that residence in the state is all that is needed for divorce jurisdiction. This ruling ensures that courts retain the ability to grant divorces to all persons who meet the state residency requirements without regard to any party’s immigration status. K &L Gates represented NIWAP in the amicus brief.”]

[pdf] Idinyan (August 9 2005) Board of Immigration Appeals (+)

Nvart Idinyan (formerly Nvart Huckfeldt) (August 9 2005) Board of Immigration Appeals. The National Network to End Violence Against Immigrant Women, represented by Crowell and Moring, filed this amicus in support of the immigration judge’s finding that plaintiff qualified for cancellation of removal under VAWA and refuting DHS assertion that once a victim reached a “safe house” she should no longer have access to VAWA provisions. (Crowell and Moring, Pro Bono)

[pdf] Arguijo v. USCIS (July 24 2020) US Court of Appeals 7th Circuit (+)

The National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) represents Jennifer Arguijo, who was 11 years old when her mother married her stepfather, who turned out to be abusive. Applying BIA case law from other contexts, VSC held that a stepchild-stepfather relationship ends after the biological parent divorces the stepparent, unless there is a “continuing relationship” between the stepchild and stepfather. NIJC sought reconsideration, and appealed to the AAO. The AAO affirmed the VSC’s decision to deny the VAWA self-petition unless the abused step-child had a continuing relationship with the abusive step-father. NIJC filed a challenge to the AAO denial under the Administrative Procedure Act in Federal District Court in 2013. Unfortunately, the case moved slowly but Jennifer eventually lost on Summary Judgment in 2020, and NIJC appealed to the Seventh Circuit. The National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project filed an Amicus brief in the 7th Circuit in support of NIJC’s appeal represented by K&L Gates LLP. The Seventh Circuit overturned the District Court and The Court handed down its decision on March 12, 2021 confirming that in the context of the Violence Against Women Act “stepchild” status survives divorce. Divorce between the natural parent and the abusive stepparent does not cut a stepchild victim off from VAWA immigration relief, including self-petitioning.

[pdf] Geidy Mavely Soto Alvarado And Mauricio Antonio Garcia Soto v. Merrick Garland (June 13 2023) US District Court Rhode Island (+)

Geidy Mavely Soto Alvarado And Mauricio Antonio Garcia Soto v. Merrick Garland (June 13 2023) US District Court of Rhode Island. NIWAP, represented by Crowell and Moring, led an amicus brief that was joined by Harvard Law School professors and clinics, the ACLU, the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and all of the major women shelters in Rhode Island. This brief argued that USCIS had misinterpreted VAWA 2000 amendments that were designed to allow VAWA self petitioners to divorce, file their self petitions, and after filing remarry with no impact that would lead to denial of the application. In this case an immigrant for self petitioner remarried year and ½ after filing but before her self-petition case was approved and USCIS revoked or approved self petition. Amici won a motion to reopen the District Court’s denial of the self petitioner’s case and the trial will proceed on the merits. Map is being represented in this case by Crowell and Moring.

[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] Bench Card: Impact of Divorce on Immigration Status (December 28, 2021) (+)

This bench card provides information for state court judges on whether and how divorce
may alter the ability of immigrant spouses, children and stepchildren to gain or maintain a legal
immigration status in the United States, including an immigration visa, lawful permanent
residency or naturalization. An immigration visa2 is specifically one that allows the immigrant
to live and work in the United States.