For years, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has provided essential protections for immigrant survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Now the U.S. House VAWA reauthorization bill (HR 4970), sponsored by U.S. Rep. Sandy Adams, R-Central Florida, threatens to undermine these crucial protections and put vulnerable victims at greater risk of horrific abuse, if not death.
Should this bill be enacted, countless victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, including children will suffer immeasurably.
For example, “Sara,” legally came to the U.S. as a student, fell in love and married a U.S. citizen. Her husband soon became controlling, his beatings increasingly violent. Finally, a vicious attack left her unconscious. Though neighbors and police rescued her, Sara withdrew the charges against him out of fear that he would kill her, as is often the case.
Without legal status allowing her to financially support herself, Sara was afraid to escape her brutal husband. Fortunately, while he was jailed, Sara connected with an attorney who helped her secretly file a VAWA application for legal residency. Once it was approved, advocates strategically planned her escape and she relocated to another state. Sara likely would not have attempted to free herself from her abuser without the promise of confidentiality. Without VAWA protections, she might not be alive today.
The House Judiciary Committee will review HR 4970 on Tuesday, May 8. Your input will help!
Contact U.S. Rep. Adams at 202-225-2706, 407-977-7601, 386-756-9798 or https://sandyadamsforms.house.gov/Forms/WriteYourRep/default.aspx
Contact U.S. House Speaker John Boehner at 202-225-0600,202-225-6205, orTwitter:@SpeakerBoehner
Contact your U.S. House Representative. Find him/her here.
Tell them HR 4970:
• Would place countless immigrants women and children at risk, even of death
• Would roll back decades of protections for immigrant survivors without any justification.
• Do NOT eliminate VAWA protections for vulnerable immigrant women
• Mirror the better VAWA bill (S 1925) already approved by the U.S. Senate.
For more information, click here.
Americans for Immigrant Justice (AI Justice) has been fighting for the American dream since its founding in 1996. One of the nation’s largest non-profit immigration law firms, AI Justice represents vulnerable immigrants at no charge. This direct service work informs its broader policy work. AI Justice influences national policy; successfully litigates or otherwise challenges patterns of abuse; and educates the public about the impact immigration laws and directives have on our communities. AI Justice is dedicated to protecting and promoting the basic human rights of immigrants. Please visit www.aijustice.org for more information.