John T. Burger

Document Type




Courts are currently split on the issue of whether a mitigation of damages defense is available to sponsors to the Affidavit. Leading cases, including Liu, rely upon the unique nature of the form to assert that such defenses are precluded. This Note will argue that the I-864 should be treated under the same principles as a typical common-law contract. Part I of this Note will trace the history of the I-864 form, primarily focusing on the legislation and case law rendering the form an enforceable contract. Part II will discuss Liu v. Mund, focusing extensively on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit’s legal and policy arguments, and how other courts have responded in its wake. Subsequently, Part III will respond to the arguments in Liu, offering novel arguments. Finally, Part III will offer analysis of the Affidavit in light of recently proposed executive action, making this Note the first to tie these executive actions directly to parties’ contract rights. Ultimately, this Note argues that treating the I-864 form as a common-law contract is not only a proper reading of the authorizing statutes, but also that diverging from Liu will give courts flexibility to ensure just outcomes in litigation.



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