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No Good Deed Goes Unpunished  

Author:  Pamela Brown.

Source: Volume 25, Number 01, October/November 2019 , pp.1-3(3)

Domestic Violence Report

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Ne exeat (no exit) provisions can trap women and their children in desperate conditions in countries where they have no independent source of money, cannot work legally, and often lack the language skills to identify resources that might help. Such was Sarah’s situation when she reticently agreed to pack up her two pre-school daughters and accompany their father Sebastian to Argentina after he lost his years-long battle with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and was subject to a final deportation order. “Keeping the family together” seemed an important goal for Sarah, but soon after settling in a rural town, Sarah’s husband began a pattern of severe abuse, and Sarah resolved to return to the U.S. with her children. Argentina, like many other countries, requires both parents to consent to removal of children from the country. Sebastian would not consent. She could file for divorce and custody in Argentina, but a contested case could take years to resolve, without Sarah being able to leave with the girls in the interim. Her other option was to seek permission to travel abroad from an Argentinian court. Sarah’s situation is not atypical.

Keywords: No Exit Provisions

Affiliations:  1: Rio Grande Legal Aid, Inc..

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