Below is one of many examples on our website that shows interaction with a prospective client. This particular inquiry relates to the Violence Against Women Act, but also touches upon Asylum. The exchange helps inform readers about our services and the attorney support we offer. You may find it helpful as you search for the right attorney in your immigration case.
Gay Man in a Difficult Marriage
Q: I am a gay man from Iran. My husband threatened me with a knife, and slashed all of my belongings. He said I would be next and threatened to send me back to Iran. I am afraid of being killed by my husband, or the government in Iran if I am sent back. Iran imposes the death penalty for people like me. Help!
A: You should not be forced to live the better of two evils. The most important thing is for you to be safe. Iran is not a safe choice under any circumstances as I understand it given your sexual orientation. You have options. You should not have to endure abuse by your spouse, or return to Iran. It is possible for you to leave the relationship and still get a green card. I have questions:
- Are you in immediate danger?
- If so, can you get to a safe place? Where can you go? There are options of which you may not be aware.
- What is the cause of aggression by your husband toward you? Was it this one time or have there been other incidents?
- Is your husband a US citizen or permanent resident?
- If in the U.S., when did you most recently enter the U.S.?
- What visa did you have when you entered most recently, if any?
- What is your current US immigration status?
- Have you filed for a green card based on your marriage?
- Have you been working with an attorney?
I’m sorry for the questions, but I want to understand more clearly.
Q: My husband is jealous and controlling. Yes, he is a US citizen. He knows Iran has a death penalty for same sex individuals. He tells me this when he’s angry, as if this is better. I was harassed by police in Iran. I entered the U.S. 10 months ago as a student at [….] We started a relationship soon after and things developed and married on July 7, [….] My husband has not yet applied for a green card for me. I don’t know that he will. There is not really a reason for jealousy. I love him. His behavior is a big problem. I have not applied for asylum, but I wonder if that may be an option.
A: Thank you. I can help. Can you please call me to discuss at 888.483.0311. There is no charge for the call and I should be able to put you in a better position rather quickly. It may be that you want to remain in the relationship and all may work out. Whether that happens or not, I can still help with your immigration support. Your husband would help you with the green card if he loves you, right? If that is not happening, then I question how he views your relationship together. Perhaps there is love, but what kind of love?
There perhaps is asylum. You may fall within a particular social group, gay person in Iran. I’d have to research whether your sexual orientation needs to be visible in the community or whether that is even necessary. Also, I want to know more about the harassment, the cause of it. A main concern is that you entered the U.S. nearly one year ago, and there is a timeline to file. So, if you are considering asylum, you need to act quickly.
But, also, I’m thinking about the Violence Against Women Act, which applies to males as well as females. If there is a good reason you are unable to remain in the relationship despite good efforts, then we might want to document the poor relationship you have and pursue a green card independently of your husband. I’m not encouraging that you break the relationship. I simply want to learn more. I hope to hear from you.
Q: Thank you. Please help me get out of this situation. VAWA may be what I’m facing.
VAWA protects foreign husbands from domestic abuse. Men who have suffered abuse have a claim for a green card under VAWA. A problem in this case is that the threats may or may not rise to the level of abuse required for a compelling VAWA claim. I don’t want to encourage the breakup of a relationship that may still be viable, especially given this gentleman loves his husband. Asylum will be a more difficult journey, particularly given the short lead to file. There are solutions here, but quick action is needed.