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Matter of Martinez

Board of Immigration Appeals
25 I & N Dec. 66 (2009)


Martinez (defendant), a native and citizen of Mexico, became a lawful permanent resident of the United States after the Immigration and Nationalization Service (INS), now the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) (plaintiff), approved her petition on the ground that she was an abused and battered spouse of a lawful permanent resident. Thereafter, Martinez and her abusive husband divorced. The couple had four children, one of which was a United States citizen. Six years later, Martinez was detained by customs officials after she attempted to re-enter the United States from Mexico with two minor children that were not her own. The DHS initiated proceedings to remove Martinez from the country for alien smuggling. At a hearing before an immigration judge, Martinez explained that she brought the two children from Mexico to the United States as a favor to their mother. Additionally, Martinez testified to receiving extensive physical and emotional abuse from her ex-husband and the hardship it would cause to her 16-year-old son if she were deported. Martinez requested discretionary relief to cancel her removal from the United States. The judge determined that Martinez had shown that relief was warranted as a matter of discretion and he granted her a special rule cancellation of removal as the battered spouse of a lawful permanent resident under § 240A(b)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The government appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning

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