Friday, April 16, 2010

immigration - cancellation of removal - Special Rule for Battered Spouses

Johnson v. Attorney General - 3d Cir. - April 16, 2010

Petitioner's claim for cancellation of removal under the Special Rule for Battered Spouses, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(b)(2), denied by immigration judge, affirmed on appeal. Petitioner offered no evidence of having been battered, claiming only that she had made baseless allegations against him and denied him access to their child. Rather, it was his citizen-wife who got a PFA order.

The SRBS could be useful to our abuse clients in other circumstances. Section 1229b(b)(2), titled the “Special rule for battered spouse or child,” allows the Attorney General to cancel removal of a deportable alien if the alien meets five threshold requirements:

(i) the alien has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by a spouse or parent who is or was a United States citizen . . . ;

(ii) the alien has been physically present in the United States for a continuous period of not less than 3 years immediately preceding the date of such application . . . ;

(iii) the alien has been a person of good moral character during such period . . . ;

(iv) the alien is not inadmissible under paragraph (2) or (3) of section 1182(a) of this title, is not deportable under paragraphs (1)(G) or (2) through (4) of section 1227(a) of this title, subject to paragraph (5), and has not been convicted of an aggravated felony; and

(v) the removal would result in extreme hardship to the alien, the alien’s child, or the alien’s parent. 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(b)(2)(A)(i)-(v) (2006).