Addendum in Support of VAWA Petition

May 17, 2023

Addendum in Support of VAWA Petition

In support of the Petition, the Petitioner avers as follows:

  1. She was validly married to William Wells (the abuser)

The substantive question is whether, at the time of the marriage, there was an “inten[t] to establish a life together.” See Bark v. INS, 511 F.2d 1200, 1201 (9th Cir. 1975). To the extent that evidence of post- marriage conduct bears on this issue, it is relevant. See id. at 1202. Accordingly, a marriage is considered a sham if the bride and groom did not intend to establish a life together at the time they married. See Syed v. Ashcroft, 389 F.3d 248, 252 (1st Cir. 2004) (citing Bark v. INS, 511 F.2d 1200, 1201 (9th Cir. 1975)).

In the instant case, Petitioner submits that she and the abuser had a valid marriage. The abuser had been looking for someone to help him care for his deceased wife Elaine and take over some of the household chores. The Petitioner responded to the abuser’s Craiglist Ad, and moved in to the abuser’s home to help with the aforesaid duties. The Petitioner and the abuser were married in a civil ceremony in Greenville County, South Carolina. Notably, she lived with the abuser and engaged sexually with him as husband and wife. They attended church together, and started doing business together. The abuser also designated the Petitioner as one of his health care agents in a “South Carolina Health Care Power of Attorney” and gave her special permission to access his medical information and make decisions about his health. Petitioner has pertinent evidence, including text messages to show this Court that indeed a valid marriage existed between the abuser and the Petitioner.

  • The Petitioner lived with the abuser

The self-petitioner and the U.S. citizen-abuser need only have lived together at some unspecified past time. See Kucana v. Holder, 558 U.S. 233, 249 (2010). Further, the self-petitioner is “not required to be living with the abuser when the petition is filed, but he or she must have resided with the abuser in the United States in the past.” See 8 C.F.R. § 204.2(c)(1)(v).  

In the instant case, the Petitioner avers that she lived with the abuser (when he was alive) at his home in [ENTER ADDRESS]. The couple lived at the said residence for [ENTER DURATION]. When the Petitioner accepted to move in and take care of the abuser’s wife, she stayed at the basement of the home. However, a few weeks after the abuser’s wife passed away, the abuser and the Petitioner officially began dating, but the Petitioner remained in basement and only moved upstairs with the abuser after the wedding.

  • The Abuser abused the Petitioner

According to 8 U.S.C. § 1154(a)(1)(A)(iii)(I)(bb), an alien may petition for classification if “during the marriage … the alien or a child of the alien has been battered.” Further, 8 C.F.R § 204.2(c) (1)(vi) explicitly requires that the abuse “must have taken place during the self-petitioner’s marriage to the abuser.” See Hightower v. Kirksey, 157 F.3d 528, 531 (7th Cir. 1998).

In the instant case, the Petitioner experienced incidences of abuse while in the marriage with the abuser. The particulars of abuse are as follows:

  1. The abuser fraudulently lied to his children via an email that he was not having intercourse with the Petitioner and that he married the Petitioner solely for immigration reasons.
  2. The abuser lied to the Petitioner about his health.

It is worth noting that the Petitioner has sufficient evidence to ascertain the veracity of all allegations herein.

  • The Petitioner is of good moral character

What is of good moral character within the meaning of 8 U.S.C. § 1154(a)(1)(A)(iii)(II)(bb) is not easy of determination. The standard may vary from one generation to another. The settled restrictions which exist in society and the way average men of good will should act has not varied in any degree as to the manner in which an individual should conduct himself in obeying moral standards. A person seeking citizenship has good moral character if his conduct conforms to generally accepted moral conventions current at the time. See Repouille v. United States, 2 Cir., 165 F.2d 152.

In the instant case, the Petitioner avers that she has no moral flaws that would impede this Petition. Further, at no point did the Petitioner engage in any conduct that necessitated the abuser’s acts of abuse alleged herein.

  • There is no substantial and probative evidence to apply Section 204(C)

A decision to revoke approval of a visa petition because the beneficiary entered into a prior marriage for the primary purpose of obtaining immigration benefits can only be sustained if there is substantial and probative evidence in the alien’s file to the effect that the prior marriage was entered into for such purpose. See In the Matter of Twafik, 20 I&N Dec. 166 (B.I.A. 1990).

In the instant case, the Petitioner avers that there is insufficient evidence to hold that the Petitioner married the abuser for immigration benefits. First, the abuser stated to the immigration officials, under oath, that he sent the email because he did not want them to know that he was in a sexual relationship with the Petitioner. Petitioner further avers that the presence of some of her old clothes and shoes is not proof that the Petitioner was not married to the abuser. For the record, the Petitioner’s clothes and shoes were in the closet in the master bedroom. 

In conclusion, the Petitioner invites this institution to invite Petitioner to proof of every allegation herein. 

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