Thursday, August 19, 2010

Domestic Abuse Victims Granted Asylum in US

Recently the Obama administration granted asylum to a women from Mexico who was severely battered and sexually abused by her husband. In deciding whether or not to grant the women asylum, the standard governing whether or not a domestic abuse victim should be granted asylum was clarified.

A legal standard is what an individual has to prove to the Court in order to be granted the relief sought. So, in order for the Mexican women to be granted asylum she had to prove that she could not expect the Mexican authorities to protect her from the violence and murder threats of her attacker, and that she could not safely relocate any where in the country to escape him.

During decades of marriage, the husband raped the women and once tried to set her on fire. Routinely, cases such as this one were dismissed by immigration judges. However, after the above referenced case, the Department of Homeland Security recognized that asylum should be available to women whose governments won’t protect them from domestic abuse.

The Mexican women had to prove that she had turned to the Courts in Mexico for protection for herself and her two children, but that no help was offered. In fact, one Judge had offered to help her if she would have sex with him. Moreover, her lawyers proved that she could not safely move any where else in Mexico as her husband would always be able to track her down via the internet. In Mexico a school teacher, which was the women’s occupation, has to post their position in a public registry.

Even though this case marks a shift in immigration policy in the United States, clarifying 15 years of arcane and tangled litigation on such issues, it does not mean that it will lead to any new surge of refugees in the United States. The case shows what one has to prove to make a case for asylum, but does not mean every case will be successful.

Finally, it would be interesting to note that asylum was also granted to her two sons, now 22 and 20 years old.

I’m not an immigration attorney, so I do not deal with asylum applications, but I do represent plenty of domestic violence victims in Family Court and am very passionate about and committed to assisting victims of domestic abuse and their children obtain protection from their attacker. So, if you need assistance or know of any one who does I would be more than happy to help. Also, if it is an asylum case, then even if I can’t help you get asylum I know of an amazing immigration attorney in New York who can.

As always, if you find this post interesting or if you have any thoughts or opinions about the above post then please share them with me and the other readers.

Until Next Time,

Helen M. Dukhan, Esq., LL.M. @

No comments:

Post a Comment