Liu v. Mund, No. 11-1453 (7th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Mund, an American, married Liu, a Chinese woman in China. They moved to the U.S. For Liu to be admitted as a permanent resident, her husband had to sign an I-864 affidavit, agreeing to support his wife at 125 percent of the poverty level ($13,500 a year), if they divorced, 8 U.S.C. 1183a. They divorced two years later. Without relying on the affidavit, the divorce court ordered Mund to support Liu for one year at $500 a month, contingent on her proving that despite making at least four job applications a month, she had not found work. Mund refused to provide support specified in the federal affidavit because Liu was not seeking work. The district judge held that Liu was not entitled to support while not seeking work. The Seventh Circuit reversed, holding there is no duty of mitigation with respect to obligations under the affidavit. The court noted form language that the obligation continues “until my death or the sponsored immigrant(s) have become U.S. citizens, can be credited with 40 quarters of work, depart the U.S. permanently, or die.” The level of support is meager, so the sponsored immigrant has a strong incentive to seek employment, apart from any legal duty.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on July 27, 2012.