Help A find freedom from her abuser and secure safety and stability in the U.S. for her and her...
- Client Location: Brooklyn
- Type of Relief: Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Self-petition
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Facts: A is a 46-year old woman from Ecuador who came to the U.S. at age 15 to reunite with her mother, who left Ecuador when A was 10 so that she could better financially support her daughter from afar. A met J in 2008 and they dated for several years. They wanted to get married, but delayed doing so because of financial concerns. Finally, A and J were married at City Hall in 2013. They chose not to have a big reception or a party because they preferred to save their money to support their blended family of eight. After the couple married, J became increasingly controlling and violent. He belittled A and although in 2019 J filed a Form I-130, Petition for Noncitizen Relative on A’s behalf, he held her lack of immigration status over her head. A’s I-130 was approved in 2020, however A now seeks to file a Form I-360 as a self-petitioning spouse of an abusive U.S. citizen under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). J’s adult son, who lived with the couple, was also violent and threatening towards A. J’s son threatened to kill A at least four times and J did not care and defended his son. In May 2020, A and her son left the family home and stayed in a shelter in Manhattan for a few weeks; however, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the high number of people dying in New York in May and June, she ultimately moved back. J told A that she was only allowed to be in her room, except for when she was cooking for the family. J blamed A for his son’s behavior and A felt trapped in her own home. Ultimately, A made the decision that she and her youngest son would leave the home permanently, and she now lives in a shelter with him in Brooklyn. A seeks to permanently separate from J and build a new life for herself and her family.
Legal Assessment: A is eligible to file a VAWA Self-Petition seeking legal status in the U.S. without relying on an abusive U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse. She needs a dedicated legal advocate to help her with her Form I-360 and subsequent adjustment of status application so that she can obtain a green card.
A is a Spanish-speaking client.
- Abused Spouses and Children/VAWA