Tag: Maibe Gonzalez

Change for Domestic Violence Victims May Herald New Stance on Immigration

A change in policy spearheaded by the Obama administration toward victims of domestic violence seeking asylum in the U.S. has anti-domestic violence and immigrant advocates cautiously celebrating. It’s one of a series of actions by the administration that suggest a new approach to immigration laws and has advocates anxious to see what follows

Domestic disturbance, by Nathalie Renaud/Flickr - Click to visit

Domestic disturbance, by Nathalie Renaud/Flickr - Click to visit

The latest sign surfaced last week when the Board of Immigration Appeals ordered an immigration judge to further review the case of a battered Mexican woman who filed a petition for asylum in California, arguing that she moved to the U.S. to escape severe violence by her common-law husband in Guanajuato, Mexico. The New York Times’ Julia Preston described the case in detail here.

Lawyers and women’s rights advocates have argued that physical and sexual abuse victims should be counted as one of the groups protected by American asylum law, which holds that people seeking the status of refugee must demonstrate a fear of persecution because of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or “membership in a particular social group.”

“The truth is that this social group is consistent with the intent and legal principles of asylum law and the protection of persecuted individuals, and we should welcome the administration’s position,” Bitta Mostofi, a staff attorney for Safe Horizon’s Immigration Law Project wrote in an e-mail. Safe Horizon is the largest provider of support services for victims of domestic violence in the country. (more…)

U.S.-Cuban Immigration Talks Resume, Outlook Unclear

By Maibe Gonzalez Fuentes, FI2W contributor

After six years of stalled negotiations, the U.S. and Cuba have started talking again about immigration issues affecting the two countries.

A meeting held Tuesday at UN headquarters in New York City is the most recent signal from the Obama administration that Washington wants to set a new tone with Havana. In April, the administration lifted restrictions on Cuban immigrants that wish to visit or send remittances to the island.

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Tuesday’s encounter was the first time Cuban and U.S. diplomats sat at the same table to talk about immigration issues since President George W. Bush suspended the negotiations in 2003.

Bush had cited failures by the Cuban government to honor previous immigration accords such as ensuring that Cubans with U.S. visas obtain permission to leave Cuba, and that Cubans who have fled the island and are caught trying to enter the U.S. illegally are accepted back by the Cuban government and treated justly.

A brief statement issued by the U.S. State Department after yesterday’s meeting said that it, “reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to promote safe, orderly, and legal migration.” (See the full text below) (more…)