Amreya Shefa, who failed to win a pardon for a 2014 manslaughter conviction for killing her husband, may soon get a reprieve from being deported.
Gov. Tim Walz asked U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to "administratively close" removal proceedings against Shefa while officials consider her visa applications for nonimmigrant status for crime victims. Walz's office said Friday that the federal government has agreed not to oppose his request. The immigration court must still approve the request, which would prevent Shefa from being deported for now.
Walz has been an outspoken supporter of Shefa's case and voted to pardon her, but her pardon request lacked the necessary unanimous support from the three-person Minnesota Board of Pardons.
Shefa said her husband kept her prisoner in their Richfield home and repeatedly raped her, according to court records. She stabbed him to death in 2013, an act she described as self-defense. She and her attorneys have said she fears she will be killed out of revenge by her husband's family if deported to Ethiopia. Shefa completed her prison term in 2017 and was released on bond.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea, when she voted against pardoning Shefa, echoed what her judge said at sentencing: "You had options available to you that night. Options you did not take."