Gitau v. Sessions, No. 17-1280 (1st Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Gitau, a Kenyan citizen, married a U.S. citizen, Johnson, and became a lawful permanent resident on a conditional basis. Under 8 U.S.C. 1186a(c)(1)(A) and (B), she and Johnson could remove the conditional nature of her status by jointly filing Form I-751. They divorced, however, and Gitau was unable to satisfy the joint filing requirement. She filed a petition to waive the joint filing requirement, 8 U.S.C. 1186a(c)(4), which was denied. In removal proceedings she renewed her waiver request, arguing that she entered into the marriage in good faith and that her removal would result in extreme hardship. The IJ ruled against Gitau, finding her not to be a credible witness and that the evidence other than her own testimony was insufficient to support her claim of good faith. The IJ also found that Gitau had not demonstrated extreme hardship. The BIA affirmed. The First Circuit dismissed a petition for review. The court noted inconsistencies in Gitau’s evidence and that, in 2007, Johnson purported to marry two other individuals seeking U.S. residence status. The only evidence of hardship not barred due to timing concerns was Gitau's testimony that it would be impossible for her to find work in her field in her parents' village in Kenya.