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"Income" Defined for I-864 Purposes: Asilonu v. Okeiyi

May 17, 2023 (1 min read)

Asilonu v. Okeiyi

"The plaintiff, Anoruo Asilonu, alleges that the defendant, Dr. Esther Okeiyi, signed a Form I-864 to serve as a financial sponsor for Mr. Asilonu, who sought to immigrate to the United States. If she did sign and submit this form, then by statute she assumed a contractual obligation to maintain the plaintiff at an annual income of at least 125% of the federal poverty line. See 8 U.S.C. § 1183a(a)(1). The plaintiff has sued the defendant for breaching her promise to support him during 2017, 2018, and 2019. The plaintiff contends that “income” means federally taxable income. See Doc. 185 at 1; Doc. 166 at 6–7. The defendant, on the other hand, contends that “income” means “gross income,” Doc. 187 at 2–4, and “any and all income,” Doc. 190 at 2, taking into account “income from wages and employment, educational scholarships and grants, alimony, housing subsidies, and any other direct financial benefits received.” Doc. 167 at 26. ... The Court adopts the definition of “income” in [8 C.F.R.] § 213a.1 and will define the plaintiff’s income as “total income for purposes of his U.S. Federal income tax liability.”