Concerned whether rape and attempted rape by a spouse can be considered "extreme cruelty" under VAWA's immigrant protection provisions.
Legal Momentum, together with the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyer's Guild and the National Network to End Violence Against Immigrant Women, submitted an amicus curiae brief in this appeal of a Board of Immigration Appeals ruling. In our brief, we argued that rape and attempted rape by a husband is battery and extreme cruelty, which qualify the abused immigrant spouse for relief under the immigration protection provisions of the Violence Against Women Act. We have been very successful in getting the BCIS (INS) adjudicators in the Vermont Service Center to broadly interpret the range of behavior that may constitute extreme cruelty in domestic violence cases in which there has been no physical abuse. Unfortunately, the Tenth Circuit ruled that it did not have jurisdiction to review this aspect of the Board's ruling, and denied the plaintiff relief.