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Lopez-Birrueta v. Holder

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
633 F.3d 1211 (2011)


Maria Lopez-Birrueta (Lopez) (plaintiff), a native and citizen of Mexico, entered the United States illegally at the age of 14. Shortly thereafter, Lopez began an intimate relationship with Gill Campos, a 36-year-old legal permanent resident of the United States. Lopez and Campos had two children together. During their time together, Campos repeatedly verbally abused and threatened Lopez and both children. Often, Campos would drink to excess and either drive a vehicle with the young children inside or beat them with a stick. Lopez and the children subsequently left Campos. In 2004, the Department of Homeland Security initiated proceedings to remove Lopez from the country. Martinez conceded removability but requested a special rule cancellation of removal under § 240A(b)(2)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The immigration judge found Lopez’s testimony regarding the abuse credible but held that she had failed to establish that the children had been “battered” or subjected to “extreme cruelty” under the statute and thus denied her petition to cancel her removal. The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirmed the judge’s order. Lopez filed a petition in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals against Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr. (defendant), appealing the BIA’s decision.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Graber, J.)

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