Sunday, March 02, 2008

Okereke (not precedential): No Review Of Refusal To Reopen VAWA-victim Case

In Okereke v. Mukasey, No. 06-3612 (3d Cir. Jan. 29, 2008) (not precedential), the Third Circuit held it had no power to review the BIA's refusal to exercise its discretion to reopen a removal case for someone who is the victim of domestic violence.

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provides key protections for domestic violence victims and even offers a specific way to reopen a case if you are a domestic violence victim and file a motion to reopen within one year of when you were ordered deported. (This is simplified and there are more specific requirements that you can find if you look up the law.)

If, however, you were ordered deported over a year ago, your only hope under the immigration laws is to ask the court to be nice and reopen the case. If the court refuses, the Third Circuit will not review how the court exercised its discretion, citing 8 USC 1252(a)(2)(B)(ii), which took away the power to review a small set of rulings where the law says the only authority for that act is in the Attorney General's discretion.

If you are trying this, look at footnote 3, which notes that the Third Circuit did not address in this case any challenges based on constitutional claims and issues of law -- so that might be the only area where you might try appealing to the Third Circuit for this type of case.

1 Comments:

Blogger Sean said...

Immigrants who abuse VAWA solely to secure U.S. residency in the absence of abuse should be ordered to pay a hefty fine. They could be granted temporary residency status regardless of the fraud until they repay the fine. This would be a better and more productive solution as it would give the residency seeker a chance to prove their new found moral character by being responsible and accountable for the fraud they attempted to commit against the United States of America.

My VAWA Story:
http://www.marthasullivanlaw.com

Regards,

Sean

9:48 PM  

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