In the Matter of Ramirez, Brief for Amici Curiae, United States Department of Justice, Executive Office of Immigration Review, Board of Immigration Appeals, Lambda Legal and HIV Law Project

Pleadings and Briefs

This Amici Curiae brief, filed by Lambda Legal and the HIV Law Project, addresses an Immigration Judge's (IJ) order to deport an HIV positive California man, Jose Luis Ramirez, back to Mexico. Based on misconceptions about HIV, the IJ found that because Mr. Ramirez had been convicted for solicitation for oral sex while he was HIV positive, he had committed a "particularly serious crime."

The brief makes several points supported by current medical science and California law to advocate for the reversal of the IJ's decision. It points out that there have been no documented cases of HIV transmission from an HIV positive person performing oral sex, and describes the difficulty of definitively establishing that the risk of transmission through oral sex exists. These arguments underscore the fact that the IJ significantly miscalculated the danger Mr. Ramirez posed to the community, contrary to sound public policy.

Following the filing of this brief, the Department of Homeland Security made a motion to retract its original argument. The Board of Immigration Appeals vacated the original ruling in light of the irrefutable medical evidence and legal precedent. Mr. Ramirez's success represents progress in the fight to ensure that all HIV positive people are treated fairly under the criminal law.