Sanchez v. Gonzales

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Concerned an immigrant women's efforts to use laws passed for the benefit of immigrant victims of violence in order to stay in the United States.

Full Case Titile: 

Sanchez v. Gonzales, 484 F.3d 439 (2007)
  • Violence Against Women and Girls

Year: 

2007
  • Immigration
  • Authored Amicus Brief

Brief: 

Summary of the Case

Ana Maria Sanchez, a domestic violence survivor, brought the case after her former counsel erroneously withdrew her application for cancellation of removal, thereby depriving her of the right to pursue a remedy available under VAWA passed expressly for the benefit of immigrant victims of violence in order to stay in the United States.

Our Role in the Case

Legal Momentum, through the National Network to End Violence Against Immigrant Women, filed an amicus brief in this case to support of the plaintiff. The law firm of Kirkpatrick and Lockhart wass our pro bono counsel on this case. The brief discusses in detail the legislative history needed to correctly apply the motion to reopen remedy that is part of the Violence Against Women Act.

In enacting VAWA and its progeny, Congress intended immigration tribunals and reviewing courts to consider the special circumstances affect immigrants who have been victims of domestic violence. Ms. Sanchez’ former counsel’s withdrawal of her application for VAWA cancellation under Section 1229b(b)(2) reflects no reasonable strategic decision but instead an egregious error that deprived Ms. Sanchez of the rights Congress intended persons such as her to have.

Decision

Unfortunately, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the plaintiff in this case.