Chapter of a publication on issues that arise in family court cases involving immigrant crime victims pending publication. This chapter discusses VAWA confidentiality protections and their impact on family court cases including a discussion of relevant case law.
NIWAP has developed a number of checklists that assist attorneys and advocates working with immigrant survivors to prepare for a variety of legal cases on behalf of immigrant survivors. Some of the following checklists are geared toward preparing to accompany a victim who will be applying for state or federal public benefits that the victim […]
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.
Advocating for Housing PowerPoint (PDF)
Creative Remedies PowerPoint (PDF)
Advanced Custody PowerPoint (PDF)
For purposes of Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Cases when immigrant children are seeking state court findings for SIJS predicate orders, states are to apply state court definitions of abuse and neglect to the facts of the child’s case without regard to the location where the abuse or neglect occurred in the U.S. or abroad. The […]
Parental Interest Directive materials from the Center on Immigration and Child Welfare’s site contains links to the following resources: Applying the ICE Parental interest Directive to Child Welfare Cases Facilitating Parental interests in the Course of Civil Immigration Enforcement Activities FAQs on the Parental Interests Directive Parental Interests Directive Fact Sheet How to Get a […]
This fact sheet provides courts and overview of how children are affected by experiencing trauma including the trauma of domestic violence being perpetrated at home. Contains social and brain science research data.
Building a Community of Practice: Creating a Culture of Social Equity for Immigrant Women and Children
This article analyzes the use of a federal affidavit of support, a required document that forms part of all family immigration petitions to overcome public charge grounds of inadmissibility. The federal statute mandating affidavits of support was altered in 1996 in an attempt to make them contractually binding, even after the dissolution of marriage. Further, affidavits of support implicate not only obligations between spouses, but also deeming analysis for public benefit eligibility. Case law interpreting
these affidavits of support is scarce and varied, but trends, patterns, and contested issues are emerging. Yet courts have not settled on any theory and practice for incorporating these affidavits into their decisions related to family dissolution. This article provides an introduction to affidavits of support and an initial effort to frame the most critical issues related to them that arise in family litigation. This article also highlights some of the key strategic issues and caveats for litigants and parties.
An article “Immigration Concerns for Family Law Practitioners.” Written by Veronica T. Thronson. Published in the Michigan Family Law Journal, a publication of the State Bar of Michigan Family Law Section. Volume 46 Number 4 April 2016.
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 www.niwap.org/go/Ohio2016.
These slides were presented in Leslye Orloff’s workshop “Expanding Legal Representation of Immigrant Survivors in Immigration and Family Law” at Community Legal Aid’s Akron, OH office on March 30, 2016. For additional materials relevant to this training, please visit www.niwap.org/go/Ohio2016.
These slides were presented by Mary Ann Dutton, Rocio Molina, and Commissioner Loretta Young at the Community of Responders: A Holistic Approach to Working with Immigrant Survivors of Abuse in New Orleans, LA on July 30, 2015.
These slides were presented by Commissioner Loretta Young, Judge Mary Weir, and Leslye E. Orloff at the Community of Responders: A Holistic Approach to Working with Immigrant Survivors of Abuse in New Orleans, LA on July 29, 2015.
These slides were presented by Mercedes V. Lorduy, Mary Ann Dutton, and Aparna Bhattacharyya at the Community of Responders: A Holistic Approach to Working with Immigrant Survivors of Abuse in New Orleans, LA on July 29, 2015.
These slides were presented by Bill Tamayo, Mary Ann Dutton and Shelli Sonnenberg at the Community of Responders: A Holistic Approach to Working with Immigrant Survivors of Abuse in New Orleans, LA on July 29, 2015.
Updated November 30, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security published an updated resource guide to clarify and further explain the role of certifying agencies in the U and T visa application process. This guide addresses concerns, answers common questions, and provides accurate information on signing I-918B and I-914B forms for federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, and other government agencies qualified to sign U visa certifications such as the EEOC, federal and state labor departments, adult and child protective services, and any other eligible agencies that have criminal, civil, or administrative investigative or prosecutorial authority. The guide provides information on what U and T visas are, discusses U visa qualifying criminal activities and severe forms of trafficking in persons, explains the standard for “helpfulness” and “reasonable request for assistance”, and has many more important tips and information about the U and T visa.
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 […]
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, […]
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.
Case in which the Court balances the conflicting right on an undocumented immigrant to maintain custody of her children, with the State’s duty to protect her children who came with her or were born in this country.
DHS report as one of a series of audit, inspection, and special reports prepared as part of our oversight responsibilities to promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness within the department. This report addresses the number of instances over the past 10 years in which the illegal alien parent of a United States citizen child was removed from the country. It is based on interviews with employees and officials of relevant agencies and institutions and a review of applicable documents.
INS Detention standard operating procedure regarding non-medical emergency escorted trips. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) provides detainees with approved staff escorted trips into the community for the purpose of visiting critically ill members of the detainee’s immediate family, or for attending their funerals.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s, Office of Detention Policy and Planning, response to Michelle Brane’s, Director of Women’s Refugee Commission, letter regarding proposed changes to the Performance Based National Detention Standard on Escorted Trips for Non-Medical Emergencies.
Safety planning for immigrant survivors using DHS’s new victim protection policies.
This presentation covers battered immigrant women’s knowledge about protection orders, their opinions about the effects of protection orders on the intimate partner violence, the reasons leading them to file for protection orders, and the remedies they sought to have in protection orders. The presentation, also, looks at the structural processes that contribute to immigrant women obtaining civil protection orders. Finally, the presentation explores battered immigrant
Inviting grantees, subgrantees, and grant partners to join the Community of Practice.
To apply to the COP, submit this application by Thursday, March 10th. Applications can be emailed to email@example.com or mailed to NIWAP at WCL, 4300 Nebraska Ave NW, C100, Washington, DC 20016.
You can fill out the form online at http://goo.gl/forms/It4xjjr4ky
Provides a description of NIWAP’s new initiative: a Community of Practice for family law attorneys who help immigrants.
In 2014, the Legal Service Corporation (LSC) issued regulations confirming that all immigrant crime victims are legally eligible for LSC funded legal services under anti-abuse regulations. This brochure discusses immigration status based eligibility as well as eligibility under anti-abuse laws. It provides advocates with a guide to immigrant crime victim access to LSC funded legal services, including an illustration on how VAWA, U-visa, and trafficking victims become eligible for LSC representation.
This chapter addresses the importance of protection orders as a tool to prevent domestic violence and discusses the authority and obligation of family court judges to issue protection orders to all survivors of intimate partner violence. Most importantly, this chapter explains the distinct separation between the powers of family court judges to issue protection orders and other family court remedies to survivors of domestic violence and the federal authority to grant or revoke immigration status.
Information for child welfare workers in regards to the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS).
This chapter discusses protection orders for immigrant victims of sexual assault.
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).
This handout will provide best practices for judges, attorneys, and advocates on how to secure the attendance, in court proceedings, of immigrants who are being detained by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) so that immigrants can participate in family court proceedings involving their children and in criminal court proceedings.
This document outlines the purpose of and need for protection orders in cases of domestic violence and sexual assault, the barriers that victims face in obtaining protection orders, and the intersection of protection orders and immigration concerns. The document will be particularly useful for attorneys, advocates, and judges attempting to understand the impacts of protection orders on a victim’s immigration case.
Battered immigrants often require additional protection to address specific needs sensitive to the particular dynamics of power and coercive control in the abusive relationship where the abuser is the only pathway to lawful immigration status. This chart offers creative filings that a victim may consider based on the specific behavior she wants to deter. This document will be particularly helpful to advocates and attorneys representing battered immigrants, and to judges looking to familiarize themselves with possible remedies in such cases.
This document pertains to a family court bench card on immigrant crime victim access to public benefits and services. It explains the public benefits for undocumented domestic violence victims, and the additional public benefits for domestic violence victims who are lawfully present.
This helpful reference covers topics, such as the role of immigration status in custody cases, immigration relief for immigrant crime victims, and common immigration status misconceptions that arise in custody cases.
This chapter is designed to help lawyers develop case plans that position immigrant clients to best take advantage of the immigration and family law protections available to help battered immigrants. This chapter also highlights key issues that arise for lawyers representing battered immigrants in custody cases. Tools and resources are provided to help screen clients for immigration relief eligibility and to locate immigration lawyers in your state who have expertise working with immigrant survivors.
Quick Guide for State Court Judges on Common Issues that Arise from Parties’ Immigration Status: Economic Remedies
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.
A quick reference for judges on issues that arise in custody cases involving immigrant parents, children, and crime victims.
A bench card on protections orders and their effects on immigrants.
ICE Directive complementing and building upon policy memoranda and enforcement priorities to clarify ICE policy and procedure with regard to the placement, monitoring, accommodation, and removal of immigrant parents of children living in the United States, parents and legal guardians involved in family court proceedings involving children, and parents or legal guardians who have minor US citizen children
This chapter highlights several important types of assistance that nonprofit organizations serving immigrant victims of domestic violence may provide and discusses the requirements that service providers must meet when working with battered immigrant populations. Specifically, the chapter describes shelter services, victim compensation, legal assistance, and other types of federal benefits that organizations may provide to battered immigrants. Next, it discusses federal laws prohibiting service providers from discriminating on the basis of national origin and requiring them to provide services without regard to immigration status when necessary to protect the life and safety of a victim.
This chapter covers a courts’ obligation to immigrants and immigrant victims of domestic violence in regards to family court cases in divorce, child custody, and child support.
This chapter discusses the different barriers which immigrants may encounter with regard to accessing services. It discusses the impact of Welfare Reform on immigrant families. This chapter also includes a policy guidance issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, regarding handling questions on citizenship, immigration status, and social security numbers during the benefits application process, as well as facilitating access to public benefits for persons with limited English proficiency (LEP). Other topics included in this chapter are Medicaid and SCHIP, food stamps, and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF).
The chapter discusses jurisdictionally sound civil protection orders and the potential harms for victims if courts issues protection orders that are open to challenge by abusers who violate protection orders that are not jurisdictionally sound.
This chapter provides an overview of the child support system and demonstrates some of the problems faced by immigrant victims in accessing this system. This chapter also provides practical information on how to prepare for a child and spousal support case; what form of support orders are best in domestic violence cases; and tips on child support enforcement. The focus of this chapter is on the child- and spousal support issues that arise in cases of immigrant victims.
Civil protection orders are available in all fifty states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and all U.S territories and are designed to protect battered individuals from their abusers. The civil protection order aims to offer the victim protection from future abuse and can be crafted to uniquely address and counter abuse, power, and control in each particular relationship. When civil protection orders are appropriately drafted and consistently enforced, they can provide effective protection for victims of domestic violence. Most importantly, civil protection orders provide a victim-initiated and controlled justice response to domestic violence that does not require criminal justice system involvement. Civil protection orders are initiated by the victim, thus a victim can choose to pursue this justice-system remedy without reliance on the criminal courts. This chapter discusses civil protection orders in depth.
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.
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.
This chapter will provide an overview of the Hague Convention and its applications, as well as some practical recommendations to attorneys and advocates working with victims of domestic violence who are considering leaving the country with their children or who are fearful that their abuser may leave the country with their children.
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.
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.
This chapter covers the implications of what will happen if battered immigrants flee across state lines with children.
A powerpoint presentation from the June 26-27, 2013 training in Providence, Rhode Island from session 2A.
An immigration status table covering work authorization, public benefits, and the ability to sponsor children.
A state-by-state table of relevant factors when considering the best interests of the child chart.
Announcement of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of extension of operating hours of the ICE Community and Detainee Helpline. The helpline provides direct channel for ICE detainees, their lawyers and advocates, nongovernmental organizations, and the general public to directly engage the ICE Office of the Public Advocate to answer questions and resolve concerns.
A template to file a motion to dismiss for inadequate service of process.
A survivor’s story is one of the most important pieces of evidence submitted with the VAWA, U, and T visa applications, which makes them different from other immigration applications. This is an opportunity for Department of Homeland Security (DHS) adjudicators to hear directly from the survivor, in his or her own voice. When reading the survivor’s story, the reader – ultimately, the DHS adjudicator – should be able to know and feel what the survivor felt after being subjected to abuse or crime victimization.
This article is designed to provide accurate information about current immigration laws and policies to family court judges and attorneys representing immigrant parents, to counter efforts by litigants in family court to raise immigration status of an opposing parent to gain advantage in a custody proceeding. A key goal of this article is to give courts and parties the information needed to keep the focus of the court’s decision making in custody cases on statutorily required factors—best interests of the child and primary caretaker determinations.
Reference tool and information on handling of situations where immigration issues arise in custody cases.
A template of a defendant’s motion to appear telephonically or via video conference.
A comprehensive manual covering topics, such as: attorney guide for victim parents at risk of detention, fact sheet on State v. Maria L., Nebraska Supreme Court ruling, explanation and power of attorney designation instructions, appointment of temporary guardian of child (one parent and two parents), motion to dismiss for inadequate service of process, motion to appear telephonically, motion and memo opposing TPR, TPR trial brief template, protecting assets and child custody in the face of deportation, and how children move through the child welfare system.
This article explores battered immigrant women’s use of protection orders. It presents an exploratory view of battered immigrant women’s knowledge of protection orders, the reasons leading them to file for protection orders, the remedies they sought in the protection orders, their views on what would improve the process of obtaining protection orders, and their experiences with the violations of protection.
This tool provides information on economic relief for immigrant victims and focuses on the role of financial control and isolation abusers use to maintain control over their victims. This tool address such issues as VAWA self-petition eligibility, child custody, child support, etc.
Department of Homeland Security resource guide clarifies and explains the role of certifying agencies in the U visa application process. This guide was published by DHS to provide accurate information on signing I-918B forms for federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, and other government agencies qualified to sign U visa certifications such as the EEOC, federal and state labor departments, adult and child protective services, and any other eligible agencies that have criminal, civil, or administrative investigative or proprietorial authority. The guide provides information about what a U visa is, how law enforcement and government agencies have a special role in certification, tips on filling out the form, and contains answers to frequently asked questions.
A comprehensive tool kit on subjects, such as: ensuring economic relief for immigrant victims through family law, proceedings: child support and spousal support, applicant financial statement, employer financial statement, employer affidavit, sample cover letter requesting employer’s statement, retroactive child support, and timing of immigrant victim access to work authorization.
Information and examples explaining how and in what proceedings courts may encounter immigrants who are eligible for Violence Against Women Act (VAWA and U Visa), Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), Special Immigrant Juvenile (SJIS) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) immigration protections.
Memorandum from the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) to all its grantees confirming that LSC grantees have the statutory and regulatory authority to represent eligible foreign nationals in Hague Convention cases (compelling the return of a child from one member nation to another) brought in United States courts. This authority extends to foreign nationals residing abroad.
E.M.B.R. (Mother) appeals a judgment terminating her parental rights to her son, C.M.B.R. (Child), and granting M.M. and S.M.’s petition to adopt Child because the trial court found she willfully abandoned him. Court determines whether her consent was required under section 453.040(7), and the adoption of Child by S.M. and M.M.
Training powerpoint on public benefits from the December 1, 2010 Sioux Falls, South Dakata
This letter used together with the ICE Performance Based National Detention Standard on Escorted Trips for Non-Medical Emergencies (also included in this library) describes the system for securing attendance at court hearings for immigrants in ICE immigration detention. For parents in immigration detention this letter and the Non-Medical Emergency escort policy has been replaced by the 2013 Parental Interest Directive (also included in this library). This letter and the Non-Medical Emergency escort policy will have continued availability for use by courts and attorneys seeking to have detained immigrants appear in court for proceeding that do not involve children.
A memo in response to a letter from the Women’s Refugee Commission about changes to the Performance Based National Detention Standard on Escorted Trips for Non-Medical Emergencies.
A sample trial brief written in the context of a termination of parental rights proceeding. This brief can be easily adapted for use in child abuse and neglect proceedings or child custody cases when similar issues are raised. We encourage you to add the facts of your case and local state family law and to use this brief as a tool to inform judges about the law that should be applied in cases of undocumented, detained and even deported immigrant parents.
A template for designation of a temporary guardian for a minor in the case of two parents.
A template for designation of a temporary guardian for a minor in the case of one parent.
A guardianship election form is a notarized statement indicating who should have the authority to act as the temporary guardian of your child should a client be suddenly unavailable to care for their child. Circumstances include hospitalization or immigration detention.
A sample motion opposing termination of the parent and child relationship.
Toolkit of materials for representing immigrant victim parents in detention or deported. This tool kit was created with the expectation that an increase in the number of family law assistance for immigrant parents will emerge and also in the hopes that family law attorneys nationwide will be equipped to handle these specific cases and can volunteer their services.This tool kit can also be adapted and used in contested custody cases and abuse and neglect cases involving immigrant victims since many of the same issues arise.
While children of immigrants have a lot at stake in the discussions surrounding U.S. immigration policy, their interests remain largely ignored in the debate. For instance, little consideration is given to the impact of immigration enforcement on the 5.5 million children, the vast majority of whom are native-born U.S. citizens, living with at least one undocumented parent. Similarly overlooked are the significant challenges experienced by public child welfare agencies that encounter children separated from their parents due to immigration enforcement measures.
The U.S. child welfare system is based on the notion of ensuring the safety and best interest of the child; however, this principle is often compromised in the face of conflicting federal immigration policies and practices. This policy brief examines the intersection of immigration enforcement and child welfare and the difficulties facing immigrant families caught between the two systems. Recommendations are provided to prioritize keeping children with their families and out of the public child welfare system whenever possible and to ensure that separated families who do encounter the child welfare system receive appropriate care and due process.
A fact sheet on the State v. Maria L. case where there was an unanimous Nebraska Supreme Court Decision on the legal rights of immigrant parents.
State of Nebraska v. Maria L, involving Angelica L. and Daniel L, both children under 18 years of age.
Acceptance of an I-600A and I-600 after 4/1/2008 for a child habitually resident in a Hague Adoption Convention country – adoptions and grants of custody obtained before April 1, 2008
This list is designed to provide advocates working with battered immigrants with a tool that will help them work more effectively with immigrant battered women preparing to seek protection orders. It can be used to help women who will be seeking protection orders “pro se” accompanied by an advocate and it can also be used as a tool for advocates helping women who will be represented by attorneys.
The Lifetime Spiral of Gender Abuse describes the potential for violence across the female lifespan. Those working with battered women use it to identify a survivors life history of trauma. Information about a survivors trauma history can be extremely helpful in the development of a victim’s immigration case and improve outcomes in VAWA, U and T visa cases. Identifying the full history or traumas experienced by battered women can also improve outcomes in custody cases as it helps family lawyers representing battered women identify elements of abuse that the victim may not have otherwise revealed (e.g. sexual assault) and it makes the attorney representing the victim in the custody case aware of trauma history that the perpetrator may use against the victim in the custody case.
A technical report for the use and outcomes of protection orders by battered immigrant women project.
Article on ways to prepare clients to testify to alleviate their anxiety, helping the client with relevant facts, and coaching the client on techniques of testifying.
A comprehensive manual on topics, such as: immigration has tripled the foreign-born population in 35 years, three-quarters of children of immigrants are Latino or Asian, three-quarters of children of immigrants are U.S. born citizens but many have undocumented parents, immigrants are concentrated but dispersing rapidly, children of immigrants are poorer despite parental work and two parents in the home, poverty and economic hardship are greater among children of immigrants, poverty, hardship, and health insurance coverage vary by state, and contributors to school readiness among children of immigrants.
Lists of the types of evidence to consider gathering during discovery based upon abuse, custody, support and property, immigration issues, and considerations when there is a criminal case pending.
An appeal from a district court order establishing child custody between Araceli Perez Rico v. Jose Rodriguez in the state of Nevada.