Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Rifqa Bary Update: Judge throws out parents' frivolous motion

Good news: The judge in Rifqa Bary's case has thrown out the parents' motion to set aside dependency declaration and go to trial. This is a big victory, because it indicates more clearly than anything that has come before that Rifqa is not going to be sent back to her parents against her will. She turns eighteen in five months, on August 10.

This also vindicates the strategy of Rifqa's lawyers in getting the dependency declaration in the first place. As I have said repeatedly in other venues, a dependency declaration is a dependency declaration. Because the parents made this blatant power grab in attempting to get it thrown out, Pamela Geller has, unfortunately, been saying that Rifqa was "tricked," that the dependency declaration in January is "useless," and things of that sort. But actually, today's hearing confirms the legal situation: This wasn't some sort of agreement that the parents could simply "renege" on at will. They tried that and learned (surprise!) that a court declaration of dependency has a certain status and that it's up to the court whether to throw out its own declaration. That it was arrived at by way of the parents' having dropped their objections back in January doesn't make it a "deal" they can simply "back out of."

Unfortunately, Rifqa's immigration status remains up in the air. Her lawyers have filed motions with the court to declare a) that reconciliation with her parents is impossible and b) that it is not in her interests (no kidding!) to be sent back to Sri Lanka. It appears that, under federal law, these declarations by the state family court are part of the apparatus needed for getting her legal immigrant status here in the U.S. independent of her parents. It appears that the judge did not grant those motions today, but I haven't been able to find out if the judge rejected them or did not rule on them. It is apparently rather important to get this immigration thing sorted out for Rifqa before she turns eighteen, and that is why her lawyers are pursuing a special visa for her called (I'm told) an SJLV. That remains unresolved, as far as I can tell.

Let's praise the Lord for the good news thus far.

(I'll probably cross-post later at W4, but for now I want to leave Todd McKimmey's gorgeous photos top and center and not upstage them.)

1 comment:

alaiyo said...

Hallelujah! One step at a time . . .