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Alvarado de Rodriguez v. Holder

585 F.3d 227 (2009)

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Alvarado de Rodriguez v. Holder

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

585 F.3d 227 (2009)

Facts

Esperanza Alvarado de Rodriguez (plaintiff) came to the United States in 1992 and shortly thereafter met Melecio Villafranco, a man thirty years her senior who lived in her apartment complex. The two became friends. Villafranco often drove Alvarado de Rodriguez to complete errands, and they shared dinner together. In 1995, Villafranco and Alvarado de Rodriguez were married, as a result of which Alvarado de Rodriguez became a permanent United States resident. During their marriage, Alvarado de Rodriguez and Villafranco had meals together and went to church together. The couple held themselves out to be husband and wife and showed outward public affection for each other, including handholding and kissing. The couple moved in with each other in 1997, but Alvarado de Rodriguez did not sleep in the same room as Villafranco. The two separated and divorced in 1998. After the separation, Villafranco completed an affidavit requesting withdrawal of his alien-relative petition and refused to file a joint petition to remove Alvarado de Rodriguez’s resident condition. An immigration judge (IJ) issued a decision granting Alvarado de Rodriguez a good-faith waiver to the joint-petition requirement. The IJ determined that the testimony presented by Alvarado de Rodriguez and her corroborating witnesses was candid, specific, plausible, and consistent with supporting documentation. The government filed an appeal, and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) overturned the IJ’s decision that Alvarado de Rodriguez had established that she entered into the marriage in good faith. Alvarado de Rodriguez appealed the BIA’s decision.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Haynes, J.)

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