Minnesota Governor Tim Waltz has asked U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to stop the deportation process to grant clemency to an Ethiopian woman who killed her husband in self defense in 2013.
Amreya Rahmeto Shefa, 48, came to Richfield, Minnesota, with her two children to live with her husband, Habibi Gessese Tesema in 2012. She claims he kept her as a prisoner in their home, raping and beating her on an almost daily basis until she snapped and stabbed him 30 times in December 2013.
Gov. Waltz has asked ICE to 'administratively close' deportation proceedings while officials review her applications for nonimmigrant status for crime victims.
Last year, the immigration court was ordered to decide if Shefa's conviction is considered a 'particularly serious crime,' which requires deportation, but her attorney said the the status of her hearing remains unknown.
Amreya Rahmeto Shefa, an Ethiopian immigrant, was convicted of manslaughter in 2014 for killing her abusive husband Habibi Gessese Tesema, stabbing him 30 times
Minnesota Governor Tim Waltz has asked U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to 'administratively close' deportation proceedings so that he can pardon Shefa
Habibi Tesema beat and raped Shefa almost daily before she killed him, she testified. Although his family adamantly denied these claims, a Minnesota court found the claims of abuse to be credible
The governor has lobbied hard for Shefa to remain in the U.S. and attempted to grant her a pardon. However, Minnesota's Board of Pardons — consisting of the governor, attorney general and state Supreme Court chief justice — requires unanimous approval.
Walz and Attorney General Keith Ellison voted to pardon Shefa, 48, but Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea disagreed, explaining to the woman, 'You had options available to you that night. Options you did not take.'
'Due to the recent ruling, I am unable to grant Ms. Shefa the clemency that she deserves, leaving her at risk of deportation,' Walz wrote in a letter to Timothy Perry, chief of staff for ICE in Washington, D.C.
'Ms. Shefa's life will be in grave danger if she is deported to Ethiopia. She will be vulnerable to the practice of retaliatory killing at the hands of her late-husband's family, who have made credible threats against her life,' the September 24, letter reads.
Shefa and her defense team have said in court that she is will be killed by her late- husband's family to avenge his death if she is sent back to Ethiopia.
'There is a lot of uncertainty and a lot of fear revolving around her situation,' Andrew Crowder, an attorney for Shefa, said.
Shefa finished her prison sentence in 2017 and will be deported by ICE if Walz's request is denied
'I think it is all going to come down to whether she is going to be