Table of Contents U-Visa “Helpfulness” Checklist CATEGORY: MANUAL DHS U and T Visa Law Enforcement Resource Guide Updated 11.30.15 Glossary of Terms for Work with Immigrant Survivors (November 15, 2017) U Visa Helpfulness Case Scenarios Collection of U-Visa News Articles Immigrant Crime Victims and U Visa Certification – What is it and Why Should Judges […]

[pdf] Amicus Brief: Domestic Violence Endangers Family Members Who Attempt to Intercede and Gender Based Violence in Honduras (September 25, 2017) (+)

This Amicus Brief was filed by Crowell and Moring on behalf of the NIWAP, Inc and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence in the 3rd Circuit Federal Court of Appeals. The brief was filed in support for a mother of a domestic violence victim from Honduras who interceded to protect her daughter who was experiencing domestic violence and was stalked and threatened by her daughter’s abuser. The brief discusses the following topics: The dangers in Honduras for women in a country with unchecked gender based violence against women; Social science data on the dangers to family members who attempt to intercede to stop domestic violence and How these two factors combine in Honduras to amplify the danger to women.

[pdf] Amicus Brief to Board of Immigration Appeals: Developmental and Psychological Effects of Trauma on Immigrant Minors (+)

Amicus Brief to the Board of Immigration Appeals (NO. 16-06-09) developed by Crowell and Moring LLP on behalf of National Women’s Advocacy Project (“NIWAP Inc.”), the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (“LIRS”), Dr. Giselle Hass, Tahirih Justice Center (“TJC”), National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health (“NCDVTMH”).

March 17, 2017: Honolulu, HI “Best Practices: Immigrant Crime Victims, Language Access and the U and T Visa”

The law enforcement training covered the best practices and recommendations based on Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations, policies and training materials on U and T visa certification and included a discussion of the benefits for law enforcement and prosecutors in following DHS’s recommendations for certification early in the case including in cases that are […]

[pdf] Understanding the Significance of a Minor’s Trauma History in Family Court Rulings: Implications for Cases of Immigrant Children and Youth (September 27, 2017) (+)

Article discussing the neurobiology of child brain development and how it impacts children who come before state family courts in domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, custody, delinquency, dependency and other cases. The article brings together research findings in the fields of child brain science and research on the traumas experienced by immigrant children in their home countries, during their immigration to the U.S. and trauma and abuse immigrant children experience after arriving in the United States.

Training For Advocates and Attorneys on Trauma Informed Work With Immigrant Women (April 23, 2014)

Hands On Training for Advocates and Attorneys on Trauma-Informed Work With Immigrant Women Who Are Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.   Published on Apr 23, 2014 Table of Contents: Scenario 1: Avoidant / Minimizing Coercive Control – 6:23 Scenario 2: Patterns of Trauma / Traumatized Client – 28:37 Scenario 3: Anxious Client – […]

[pdf] Slides: Trauma-Informed Care, Part 2: The Nuts and Bolts of Immigration Story Writing Intervention (March 19, 2014) (+)

This webinar builds on a previous broadcast “Trauma-Informed Care: Promoting Healing While Strengthening Survivors’ Immigration Case”, which introduced the process of immigration story writing intervention – a unique technique that couples (1) a trauma-focused writing exercise, shown to reduce the psychological impact of trauma exposure, with (2) a record of the survivor’s experience of domestic violence, sexual abuse, or other qualifying traumatic event that enhances the survivor’s evidence-based immigration relief application. All registrants should review Part I prior to the second broadcast. In this sequel, presenters will offer a tested and trauma sensitive tool, helpful resources, and effective strategies to facilitate the immigration story writing intervention. The focus will be on helping advocates obtain in-depth details from survivors, identify patterns of coercive control, and promote healing as they build stronger immigration relief applications.

[pdf] BIA Amius Brief on Recent Research Concerning the Neurobiological, Cognitive, and Psychological Development of Children and Adolescents (July 11, 2016) (+)

This Amicus brief was submitted to the Board of Immigration Appeals and addresses an important issue presented by Amicus Invitation No. I 6-06-09, focusing on how the term “minor” should be defined and understood by the Board in child asylum cases in light of the substantial body of recent research concerning the neurobiological, cognitive, and psychological development of children and adolescents. This brief will focus on the significant and deleterious effect trauma and
maltreatment have on that development, including the impact of impaired development on the readiness of child migrants to file asylum applications.

2016 Kellogg Fellows Leadership Alliance Conference Materials

Presentation: Building a Community of Practice: Creating a Culture of Social Equity for Immigrant Women and Children   Additional Materials: Herstory: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Public Policy Timeline Highlighting Accomplishments on Behalf of Immigrants and Women of Color Collecting Stories to Illustrate the Need for Proposed Reforms to Aid Immigrant Victims Understanding and Participating […]

[pdf] NIWAP Brochure (+)

Brochure describing NIWAP’s mission, vision and programs:
— Training: Capacity Building to Make Laws Effective
— Research: Transformation Through Documentation
— Policy: Amplifying Voices Through Advocacy

[pdf] Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Public Policy Timeline Highlighting Accomplishments on Behalf Of Immigrants and Women of Color (February 11, 2017) (+)

Provides an overview of the historical achievements that improve laws, policies, practices and access to services for battered women, sexual assault victims and particularly immigrant and women of color victims.

[pdf] Уязвимость к травме Вопросники структурированного интервью для иммигрантов (SIQI) (+)

Следующие вопросники были составлены для проведения Структурированного Интервью при Уязвимости к Травме. В ходе проведения сессии, клиентам предлагается непрерываясь, поделиться своей историей.Тем временем адвокаты и правозащитники слушают их, делают записи и следят за их настроением. Этот инструмент был создан для применения во время слушаний собеседований с клиентами. Этот Вопросник Структурированного Интервью для Иммигрантов (SIQI) позволяет адвокатам и правозащитникам извлечь глубже дополнительную информацию для укрепления иммиграционного дела клиентов и также предоставит полную картину травмы и физической боли, вынесенной потерпевшими. Вопросы были придуманы для облегчения состояния клиентов и улучшения их иммиграционного заявления, путём раскрытия важных подробностей их истории, тщательной проверкой на наличие других происшествий, испытаний и эмоциональных потрясений, которые вызваны крайней жестокостью и/или сильным психическим либо физическим надругательством. Адвокатам и правозащитникам следует объяснить цели данной сессии перед началом проведения структурированного интервью об уязвимости к травме. (Trauma Informed Structured Interview Questionnaire)

[pdf] Slides from “Helping Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking Victims: Holding their Abusers Accountable” (+)

These slides were presented by Leslye Orloff in a keynote address entitled “Helping Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking Victims: Holding their Abusers Accountable” at Youngstown State University on March 31, 2016. For additional materials relevant to this training, please visit

[pdf] Representing Domestic Violence Survivors who are Experiencing Trauma and Other Mental Health Challenges: A Handbook for Attorneys (+)

This handbook for attorneys was created by the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health. In recent years, those who work with survivors of domestic violence have become
increasingly aware of the connection between trauma and domestic violence, as well as
other effects of domestic violence on a survivor’s mental health. This handbook aims to inform prosecutors who represent survivors with trauma or other mental health challenges.

[pdf] Self Care Tool (+)

Self-care should be a preventive measure, and not
something one does when feeling completely overwhelmed. It is not always easy to take
care of ourselves; demands from work, family, and friends can relegate self-care to the
bottom of your “to-do” list. Self-care is particularly important for attorneys and advocates
that work closely with traumatized clients that have difficult stories to tell.

[pdf] How to Prepare Your Case Through a Trauma Informed Approach: Tips on Using the Trauma Informed Structured Interview Questionnaires for Family Court Cases (SIQI) 7.23.15 (+)

Developing a survivor’s story is a critical component of preparing for any case in which a client has a
history of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and/or stalking. When working with immigrant
survivors applying for immigration relief as a result of the abuse, it is necessary to collect a detailed story to
submit as part of the immigration application.

*Breaking Barriers Table of Contents

Breaking Barriers is a comprehensive manual that provides information that will be useful to advocates, attorneys, justice, and social services professionals working with and assisting immigrant survivors of domestic and family violence. This Manual provides a detailed overview explanation of immigrant survivors’ legal rights under immigration, family, public benefits, and criminal laws and their rights to […]

*Empowering Survivors Table of Contents

This is a comprehensive manual that provides information that will be useful to advocates, attorneys, justice, and social services professionals working with and assisting immigrant survivors of sexual assault. This manual will help advocates and professionals expand their knowledge and capacity to aid immigrant victims of sexual assault in accessing justice under federal and state civil, […]

[pdf] DHS Policies and Safety Planning Flowchart (+)

Flowchart describing safety planning for immigrant survivors and the benefits of initiating the victims immigration case before serving a perpetration in a family law or protection order case. The document also contains a list and links to Department of Homeland Security policies that foster victim protection from immigration enforcement and removal.

[pdf] DHS Enforcement Priorities: Policies and Memoranda Information for State Court Judges (+)

The purpose of this bench card is to inform courts about DHS protections available to all immigrants so that the court can assess cases with an understanding of real policies and see official memoranda describing the intended protections available.

[pdf] Brochure: Know Your Rights (+)

Regardless of your immigration status, you have the right to be safe in your own home. You have the right to leave or have anyone removed from your home who abuses you and/or your children physically, emotionally or sexually. No one has the right to hurt you or your children in any way.

[pdf] Building Trusting Relationships: A Guide for Advocates/Attorneys Working With Law Enforcement On U-Visa Certification Issues (+)

A flowchart of options for advocates and attorneys that seek to collaborate with LE on U-Visa certification cases. This flowchart describes how to build a trusting relationship as an advocate or attorney working with law enforcement on u-visa certification issues.

[pdf] Comparing Forms of Immigration Relief for Immigrant Victims of Crime (+)

This chart has been developed as a tool to help advocates, attorneys, judges, law enforcement and other professionals to promote a basic understanding of how various forms of immigration relief available to help immigrant crime victims and children differ. The chart compares eligibility requirements, access to employment authorization and lawful permanent residency, and the application process.

[pdf] Questions to Use for Crime Scene Identification of Limited English Proficient (LEP) (+)

These are sample introductory questions that an officer can ask when meeting a person that is potentially LEP. They are based on scenarios that an officer will likely encounter during his or her patrol. The goal is to ask questions that are not related to information the officer may need to for a criminal case, that can build rapport with victims and witnesses and avoid yes/no questions helping officers assess the need for a qualified interpreter to help LEP persons communicate with law enforcement and promote accuracy of police reports and criminal investigations.

[pdf] Why Using an Interpreter is Beneficial to Law Enforcement (+)

This document outlines the benefits to law enforcement officers of identifying LEP persons language access needs at crime scenes and during criminal investigations. These benefits include improving officer and crime scene safety, improving the likelihood of a successful prosecution, and ensuring that officers fully capture helpful statements from victims and witnesses.

[pdf] U-Visa “Helpfulness” Checklist (+)

This checklist has been developed to assist police, prosecutors, judges, commissioners, magistrates and other U visa certifying officials in identifying the wide range of ways an immigrant crime victim can provide helpfulness to justice system officials and government agencies in detection, investigation, prosecution, conviction or sentencing of U visa listed criminal activity. The document includes citations to U.S. Department of Homeland Security policies, regulations, guidance and training materials on U visa certification and helpfulness. A national team of law enforcement, prosecutors and judicial trainers with expertise and experience on the U visa contributed to the development of the list of examples of helpfulness included in this document based on their experience and expertise.

[pdf] Safety Planning With Survivors of Non-Intimate Partner Sexual Assault: Ten (10) Tips for Advocates and Lawyers (+)

The goal of safety planning is to help a survivor remain safe from the perpetrator and prevent future harm. Safety planning may also reduce sexual assault survivors’ overall fear and help restore their sense of autonomy and control; this can both empower victims and aid their healing. Safety planning with victims of non-intimate partner sexual assault is different than safety planning with victims of domestic violence in a variety of ways. For example, the majority of jurisdictions do not yet have civil protection orders for victims of non-intimate partner sexual assault. The survivor may not know the perpetrator’s name or address, or may know this but nothing more.

[pdf] Safety Planning with Adult Sexual Assault Survivors: A Guide for Advocates and Attorneys (+)

Whether it is a single incident or an ongoing pattern of abuse, sexual assault can undermine a victim’s physical and emotional safety. This guide is designed to help advocates and attorneys work with survivors of non-intimate partner sexual assault to identify potential threats and create a safety plan tailored to the individual’s needs and concerns. An effective safety plan empowers the victim to reclaim a sense of safety and security by addressing immediate safety needs and outlining strategies to help reduce future incidents of harm. Unfortunately, constructing and implementing a safety plan cannot ensure that an individual will not face violence again; its goal is to help survivors be as safe as possible given their current life circumstances.

[pdf] Battered Immigrants and U.S. Citizen Spouses (+)

This paper reviews and provides data about the dynamics of domestic violence experienced by immigrant women. This information will help adjudicators who decide cases involving battered immigrant women better understand and consider the evidence presented, against a background of the research on domestic violence and immigrants. A second important goal of this paper is to provide information and data that will assist legislators and government agency policy makers in crafting legislation and administrative agency regulations and policies that will be grounded in the reality of the dynamics of domestic violence experienced by immigrant women.

[pdf] Barriers and Successes in U Visas for Immigrant Victims: The Experiences of Legal Assistance for Victims Grantees (+)

The paper focuses on problems, successes, and creative solutions reported by attorneys and advocates working with immigrant victims eligible to receive crime victim U visas under federal immigration laws. Victims applying for U visa immigration relief must, under current law, submit a U visa certification signed by the head of a law enforcement agency, prosecutor, judge, or other government official with their U visa application. This research provides information regarding effective strategies and best practices used by grantees that are successful in obtaining U visa certification. The systemic barriers that immigrant victims and their advocates encounter when working with U visa are also discussed, along with creative solutions grantees are using to overcome these barriers.

[pdf] Early Access to Work Authorization For VAWA Self-Petitioners and U-Visa Applicants (+)

This NIWAP report, which was published in 2014, summarizes the purpose, history, and importance of work authorization for immigrant survivors of domestic violence. It also summarizes a 2013 NIWAP survey of service providers about the length of time their clients spent waiting for work authorization, what occurred during the waiting period, and their experiences after receiving work authorization.

The initial process of obtaining work authorization often takes too long and exposes immigrant survivors of violence to retaliation, coercion, and further harm including incidents of violence and abuse. This document includes recommendations on policy changes in processing VAWA self-petitions and U-Visa applications. It also includes an appendix with illustrative cases showing the impact of delays in processing times for VAWA self-petitioners and U-Visa applicants with a pending case.

[pdf] Chapter 01.2: Collaboration, Confidentiality, and Expanding Advocacy (+)

This chapter (1.2) discusses best practice for collaborations between victim advocates and attorneys and justice system personnel, particularly law enforcement. These collaborations are best practices for effectively serving immigrant survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

[pdf] Chapter 03.2: VAWA Confidentiality and Breaches of Confidentiality (+)

Battered immigrant women relay extremely sensitive and private information to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS, formerly INS)3 when seeking immigration relief. A batterer in possession of any of this information might use it to locate the battered immigrant spouse and her children and harm them. If he becomes aware that she is seeking immigration status independently of him or planning on leaving him, he might try to seek revenge and might contact the immigration authorities in an attempt to undermine her case or have her deported. For these reasons, confidentiality rules can serve as a potentially lifesaving protection for the victim and her children. A manual of confidentiality and breaches of confidentiality.

[pdf] Special Immigrant Juvenile Status: Information for Child Welfare Workers (+)

Information for child welfare workers in regards to the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS).

[pdf] Immigrant Victims in the Justice System (+)

Flow chart illustrating the importance of providing support for immigrant victims seeking help from the justice system and the many different types of justice system cases immigrant victims encounter as they turn to the justice system for help. The systems immigrant and LEP victims need support navigating include: immigration, domestic violence/ arrest incident, family court, benefits, and protection orders (civil court process).

[pdf] CH 01: Dynamics of Sexual Assault and the Implications for Immigrant Women (+)

Chapter in Empowering Survivors: Legal Rights of Immigrant Victims of Sexual Assault. This chapter (1) on sexual assault dynamics experienced by immigrant survivors is designed to help deliver culturally sensitive culturally appropriate services to immigrant survivors by well-informed professionals who support survivors in confronting and overcoming the significant legal and personal challenges they may encounter as they heal and recover from sexual assault.

[pdf] Programs Open to Immigrant Victims and All Immigrants Without Regard to Immigration Status (+)

This brochure contains a list of programs for the protection of life, safety and public health, as well as legal services, which are available to immigrants regardless of their immigration status.

[pdf] Funding Effective Program Services for Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence (2014) (+)

Monograph for State STOP Administrators designed to help Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) STOP Grant Administrators expand services to projects that serve immigrant victims of family violence. Specifically, it will focus on factors Administrators should examine to determine how effective a program will be in serving a targeted, immigrant population. It will provide guidelines to distinguish between programs that claim to be open to immigrants and those that have established true and trusting relationships with immigrant communities.

[pdf] U-Visa Legal Advocacy: Overview of Effective Policies and Practices (+)

This policy brief provides an overview of successful collaborations that lead to improved access to U visa certification for immigrant crime victims. A review of the experiences reported by grantee organizations of the Legal Assistance for Victims (LAV) Program, administered by the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) found that successful collaborations with law enforcement agencies that grantees built over time, working on a range of domestic violence and sexual assault issue, led to more positive outcomes for immigrant survivors seeking U visa collaborations. This policy brief contains illustrations and recommendations for best practices for building sustainable collaborations that benefit law enforcement, immigrant victims, advocates, attorneys and the communities.

[pdf] Immigrant Crime Victims Legal Bibliography (2013) (+)

Bibliography of legal journal articles and legal publications related to the legal rights of immigrant victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking through 2013.

[pdf] CH 01.1 Dynamics of Domestic Violence Experienced by Immigrant Victims (+)

This chapter (1.1) discussed the dynamics of domestic violence as experienced by immigrant victims. It discusses immigrant victim’s experiences with domestic violence as well as fear deportation, economic abuse, child custody, misconceptions victim’s have about the U.S. legal system, immigrant victims interactions with the justice system and how advocates and attorneys can effectively support victims in exercising their legal rights and gaining access to victim services.

[pdf] Chapter 02: Interviewing and Safety Planning for Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence (+)

This chapter will discuss the best ways for advocates and attorneys to communicate with battered immigrant clients. It will detail effective methods of identifying, interviewing, assisting, and ensuring the safety of domestic violence victims. It will teach advocates and attorneys how to interact with clients in a manner that diminishes the pain involved with discussing the abuse and how to be sensitive to cultural differences.

[pdf] Empowering Survivors: Legal Rights of Immigrant Victims of Sexual Assault (+)

This is a comprehensive manual that provides information that will be useful to advocates, attorneys, justice, and social services professionals working with and assisting immigrant survivors of sexual assault. This manual will help advocates and professionals expand their knowledge and capacity to aid immigrant victims of sexual assault in accessing justice under federal and state civil, immigration, public benefits, social services, language access legal services and criminal laws in the United States. The goal is to help provide resources, assistance, and support to help immigrant victims of sexual violence and sexual harassment recover, heal, and rebuild their lives. The chapter and tools included in this manual may also be useful to advocates, attorneys, and social services professionals working with immigrant victims of domestic violence, stalking, and human trafficking.

[pdf] Breaking Barriers: A Complete Guide to Legal Rights and Resources for Battered Immigrants (+)

Breaking Barriers is a comprehensive tool that provides information that will be useful to advocates, attorneys, justice, and social services professionals working with and assisting immigrant survivors of domestic and family violence. This Manual provides a detailed overview explanation of immigrant survivors’ legal rights under immigration, family, public benefits, and criminal laws and their rights to access a broad range of victim services without regard to immigration status of the immigrant crime victim or their children. Breaking Barriers provides social science research findings, information about laws, policies and best practices, legislative history, tools and checklists that will help professionals working with immigrant survivors navigate intersecting legal and social services options that are legally available to assist all immigrant victims including those who are undocumented.

[pdf] Chapter 06.1: Countering Abuser’s Attempts to Raise Victim’s Immigration Status in Custody Cases (+)

This chapter is designed to help family lawyers prepare to counter attempts by abusers to raise immigration status in custody cases. Attorneys should be encouraged to use the information in this chapter to educate judges hearing custody cases about the fact that they should not consider immigration status in making custody decisions in the best interests of children. The contents of this chapter are written in a format that could be incorporated into a bench brief to a trial court in a custody matter or that would be included in materials for educating judges.

[pdf] Chapter 15: Jurisdictionally Sound Civil Protection Orders (+)

Chapter in Empowering Survivors: Legal Rights of Immigrant Victims of Sexual Assault. This chapter discusses the importance of and steps that advocates and attorneys working with immigrant victims of domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse, stalking and sexual assault can take to ensure that civil protection orders issues to family, stalking and sexual violence victims are jurisdictionally sound and enforceable. It provides practice pointers for avoiding agreement to and objecting to court orders that result in state court issuance of “no-findings” protection orders and lays out best practices for receiving consent protection orders that are jurisdictionally sound and enforceable because they are based on the uncontested affidavit of a victim in a civil case.

[pdf] Advocate’s Guide to Immigrant Survivors’ Rights and Protections (February 23, 2015) (+)

A guide for advocates and attorneys on immigrant survivors rights if they become the subject of immigration enforcement. This tool helps advocates providing advise to immigrant victims of domestic violence and sexual assault about steps both the immigrant crime victim and the advocate/attorney should take should the victim become the subject of an immigration enforcement action.