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Friday, July 21, 2006

No rights for abused, but undocumented wife

In Pomona, CA, in the hearing of Aurora Gonzalez, a Mexican woman seeking a restraining order against her husband, Superior Court Judge Finke asked Gonzalez if she was an illegal immigrant.  Gonzalez admitted to be in the country illegally, the judge responded: "I hate the immigration laws that we have, but I think the bailiff could take you to the immigration services and send you to Mexico.” Then the Judge had a creative idea: he would count to 20 and Gonzalez would disappear by the time he was finished. No trouble for her; no trouble for him. "One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. When I get to 20, she gets arrested and goes to Mexico," said the judge according to the court transcript. This week, in an interview with the LA Times, Judge Fink explains his intent to get Gonzalez from trouble with the INS. He also said he saw nothing more than screaming between the husband and wife, although reportedly Gonzalez had moved last month into a domestic violence shelter. The Superior Court is now reviewing the hearing.

The case decisively continues the trend post-Hoffman Plastics, where the Supreme Court denied an award of limited back pay to undocumented workers that were fired for organizing. Since then, lower courts have been expanding the logic to many more employment related and non-employment contexts.

Posted by Orly Lobel on July 21, 2006 at 12:37 PM | Permalink


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» Twist and Shout from The Debate Link
More on the we hate illegal immigrants so much we laugh when they are victims of crime front (scroll to the update at the bottom). In California, a Mexican women went to court to get a restraining order against her husband, who was abusing her. Inste... [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 21, 2006 1:26:45 PM


Why is the judge even asking about her immigration status? Nothing in the law suggests only citizens or documented aliens are allowed protection against domestic violence.

Posted by: . | Jul 25, 2006 3:31:16 PM

What the... !?

According to the LAT article, this guy was only a judge pro tem, so lets hope he doesn't get appointed ever again. Perhaps a letter-writing campaign to the responsible officials? (The chief judge of the court?) (And this doesn't even depend on her story being true. Revulsion at the notion that a judicial officer would threaten a plaintiff with deportation for seeking a remedy for violence doesn't depend on the plaintiff telling the truth.)

Lets start with the fact that under VAWA, she might actually have a perfect right to remain in the country.

Posted by: Paul Gowder | Jul 21, 2006 1:40:50 PM

This case is disturbing on so many different levels.

Posted by: Bruce Boyden | Jul 21, 2006 12:55:09 PM

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