This blog post was written by Paulina Vera, a student at George Washington University Law School, who is part of the Law School’s outstanding immigration clinic. On October 10, 2014, my client, S-G-L-, was granted asylum by Immigration Judge Paul W. Schmidt of the Arlington Immigration Court. S-G-L- fled Honduras in 2009 after her domestic partner attacked her with weapons and repeatedly beat and raped her. S-G-L- feared that her abuser would find her if she were to move elsewhere in Honduras and for that reason she made the decision to flee to the United States.
In a major victory for immigrants, the Board of Immigration Appeals ruled yesterday that women who are unable to leave domestic violence caused by their husbands may qualify as a particular social group for asylum purposes. This decision brings to an end a lengthy period of uncertainty regarding the viability of claims to asylum by women fleeing domestic violence. The Board’s decision in Matter of A-R-C-G-, 26 I.&N.
This post was written by Sydney Barron, a law student at George Washington University Law School and a member of the school’s Immigration Clinic, under the direction of Professor Alberto Benitez. Benach Collopy periodically offers this space to law students and non-profit organizations to discuss their immigration cases. If you are a law school professor or a non-profit organization that wishes to tell the story of one of your immigration cases, please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Judith Muñoz and Tarunpal Dhillon, Student Attorneys with the Catholic University Law School Immigration Litigation Clinic We met our client, Tanya,[i] for the first time on December 18, 2013 at the Baltimore Immigration Court. She stood behind a glass door, in a navy blue jumpsuit, handcuffed and shackled. As she told us her story of survival in South Africa, a few points became very clear about our client: she is a source of inspiration, a fighter, and a seeker of justice.
After a long wait, Congress has reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), with several new protections that are of relevance to immigrant clients and practitioners. President Obama is expected to sign the bill this afternoon. But first, what is VAWA? In 1994, Congress enacted the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA I), the first comprehensive federal legislation to address specifically the issue of violence against women. VAWA I improved greatly the availability of overall support and resources for domestic violence survivors through the creation of new criminal enforcement authority and enhanced penalties to combat domestic violence in federal courts, and provided grants to fund programs to fight violence against women.