Court sets aside decision on asylum-seeking abused women

The Associated Press
Wednesday October 24, 2001

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal appeals court said Tuesday it would revisit a decision allowing battered women and abused children to be granted asylum in the United States. 

Without comment, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said it would rehear a case of a Mexican illegal immigrant who fled her country to Los Angeles because her father repeatedly beat her. In March, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit said the 19-year-old girl could stay in the United States. 

It was the first ruling of its kind allowing a refugee to be eligible for asylum by showing severe abuse by a relative, coupled with an inability to find safety in their homeland. 

Normally, asylum is granted to those for religious or political reasons. The court did not indicate when it would rehear the case of Rosalba Aguirre-Cervantes, this time with 11 judges. 

The case is Aguirre-Cervantes v. INS, 99-70861.