Friday, December 18, 2009

R-A- granted asylum as a domestic violence victim after a 14 year struggle.

As reported by the Associated Press, Rody Alvarado (referred to as R-A- in court documents) was officially granted asylum by an Immigration Judge in San Francisco last week after fourteen years spent fighting her case through the courts.

Ms. Alvarado applied for asylum based on the persecution she experienced at the hands of her husband during a decade of brutal domestic violence from which the Guatemalan police and government were unwilling to protect her. Ms. Alvarado's asylum claim raised many complicated issues including whether asylum was appropriate for someone who suffered persecution at the hands of an individual rather than a government and whether a woman who experienced ongoing domestic violence in a country where she could not expect police protection could form a "particular social group" for asylum purposes.

The Obama administration has stated that regulations are being drafted that would allow victims of domestic violence a basis for asylum. If the regulations are adopted, they would be a long-awaited victory for Ms. Alvarado and others like her who have lived through horrific abuse at the hands of a domestic partner.

To read more about the history of this case: