7 Geo. Immigr. L.J. 549 (1993)
Ending the Abuse of the Marriage Fraud Act

handle is hein.journals/geoimlj7 and id is 561 raw text is: NOTE
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)' gives some men who
batter their wives an additional method of control.2 For an undocu-
mented immigrant to enter the United States on the basis of marriage to
a citizen or permanent resident, the citizen or permanent resident must
sponsor the immigrant by filing a petition. The immigrant is then
granted two-year conditional residence status, which only ends if the
sponsor and his wife jointly petition to have permanent status granted.3
In relationships where the permanent resident or citizen batters his
wife, the resident's ability to control his wife's immigration status
reinforces his power over her.4
The result is that in many relationships, women remain with husbands
who batter them. Newspaper accounts are horrifying:
[Pat Eng, managing Director of the New York Asian Woman's
Shelter] described the case of one client, a young woman in her
A.B., Bryn Mawr College, 1998; J.D. candidate, Georgetown University Law Center, May
1994. Thanks to Leslye Orloff for her patience, to Mark Lesko and Haydeh Behbehani for their
invaluable editorial assitance, and to my family for their unwavering support. Thanks also to all
those who have encouraged me with their dedicated work to secure immigrants' rights,
especially in this increasingly hostile environment. And thank you, Jaime, for being both an
inspiration and my anchor.
1. Immigration and Nationality Act, Pub. L. No. 82-412, 66 Stat. 163 (1952) (codified as
amended in scattered sections of 8 U.S.C.) [hereinafter INA].
2. In the marriage context the problem is primarily one of abuse of women although battery
of men can and does exist.
3. INA  204(a)(I)(A)-(B), 8 U.S.C.  1154(a)(1)(A)-(B).
4. The INA has the same effect on children or parents of an abusive sponsor. The
citizen/permanent resident must sponsor children and parents in order for them to immigrate
under a family-based classification. Dependence on the sponsor for immigration status
increases the batterer's power over his victims. I will focus on the problem of battery of wives,
but battery of other family members is also a significant problem. A remedy to the problem of
abuse should be broad enough to curb abuse against all family members.

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