Newsletter | Fall 2014
Vol. 18, Issue No. 3
Did you know that an abuser can use their partner’s immigration status as a tool to exert further power and control in a violent relationship? Abusers may fail to file papers on their spouses’ behalf that would allow them to obtain legal status so that they can continue to abuse them. Abusers dominate and manipulate every aspect of a victim’s life to ensure that the victim feels dependent on them. They threaten deportation in addition to other threats continually made. Many victims fear reporting crimes and seeking help because they worry it could lead to deportation. If they have children, they are legitimately concerned about being forcibly separated from them. Language barriers and isolation from family and friends leave victims with no idea of where to turn for help. They are unable to work because they lack legal immigration status and fear being homeless or unable to feed their children should they dare attempt to escape.
AI Justice’s LUCHA Program works on behalf of immigrant survivors and empowers them by giving them the tools to become independent and self-sustaining members of their families and their community. Once they apply to legalize their status, they can get a work permit, Social Security card and Florida driver’s license. AI Justice’s legal representation is especially critical as immigrants work to gain safety and independence. The majority of LUCHA clients are referred to us by local shelters and law enforcement officer.