Federal Immigration Litigation Clinic Files a U.S. Supreme Court Amicus Curiae Brief about Citizens’ Spousal Rights in Visa Matters

Appearing at the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador in 2015, American citizen Sandra Muñoz and her husband, Luis Ernesto Asencio-Cordero, applied for a visa that would allow him to immigrate to the United States and become a lawful permanent resident. In short order and without explanation, they learned that the consular official denied Asencio-Cordero’s visa. Asencio-Cordero was forced to remain in El Salvador while Muñoz returned home.

Three years later during litigation in federal court, the couple’s suspicions were confirmed: The U.S. Department of State believed that Asencio-Cordero was a gang member based in part on his four tattoos. His visa was denied even though he had no criminal record in the United States or El Salvador and never belonged to a gang. The denial has left Asencio-Cordero separated from his wife and minor U.S. citizen daughter since 2015—without a path to join them in the United States and become a legal resident.

Muñoz has been pursuing litigation since 2017 that the federal government violated her due process rights and constitutional rights to marriage. The U.S. Supreme Court heard Department of State v. Muñoz on April 23, after an appeal by the Biden administration. Fighting by her side are members of Congress, former consular, Department of State, and Department of Homeland Security officials, and a team from Minnesota Law’s Federal Immigration Litigation Clinic (FILC), part of the James H. Binger Center for New Americans

Read the full details in this article in Minnesota Law magazine


Nadia Anguiano-Wehde, Immigration Advocacy Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor, Clinics

Nadia Anguiano ’17

Associate Clinical Professor of Law
Seiko Shastri

Seiko Shastri ’21

Immigration Litigation Fellow
Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor of Law