This proposed model policy was developed under a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance and in consultation with law enforcement leadership from multiple jurisdictions and with input from officials at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Please also review the discussion paper that accompanies this Model policy.
This document is the training manual developed by USCIS used by USCIS officials responsible for adjudicating Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS).
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 […]
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.
The original story book and research report collected and presented to Congress support VAWA 1994 immigration protections creating VAWA self-petitioning and VAWA suspension of deportation.
NIWAP memorandum to DHS on the importance of specialized units within the Vermont Service Center and strategies to improve performance, practices, and staffing.
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.
VAWA self-petitioners who are battered immigrant spouses and children of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, and victims of human trafficking with continued presence or T visas are “qualified aliens,” and thus they are legally eligible for public and assisted housing. Although, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is providing access to public and assisted housing for human trafficking victims, there has been an 18 year delay in HUD issuing policies and guidance to agencies and programs nationwide who administer public and assisted housing funds directing them that VAWA self-petitioners and their children are eligible to receive public and assisted housing. HUD’s failure to issue policies implementing 8 U.S.C. Section 1641(c) results in VAWA self-petitioners being precluded from accessing, or remaining and being subject to proration, in public and assisted housing units. As a result many battered immigrant spouses of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who are living in public housing with their abuser are forced to choose between staying in public or assisted housing with their abuser or risk homelessness for themselves and their children.
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.
This article contains a report on the legislative and regulatory history and evolution of access to legal services available to immigrant victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking from Legal Services Corporation (LSC) funded agencies. It also contains the results of a national survey conducted by NIWAP that sought to document the extent to which immigrant victims were being turned away from LSC funded agencies despite the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) 2005 amendments and implementing LSC policies (2006). This report was submitted to LSC and led to the issuance of LSC regulations creating a new “anti-abuse” path to LSC funded representation for immigrant crime victims through 2014 regulations and policies.
This report explores police responses to immigrant victims of crime from the perspectives of various service providers, including legal services, pro bono attorneys, social service organizations, domestic violence/sexual assault programs, law enforcement and prosecutors’ offices. The data presented are based on the results of a nationwide survey of organizations serving immigrant victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. We assess the effect that a history of ongoing collaboration between victim and legal services agencies and law enforcement has on U Visa certification practices and language access to the justice system. The paper also examines the experiences of working with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) clients and language access in the field and during legal procedures. A key focus of this paper is to identify factors that support improved access to culturally and linguistically appropriate resources and services, including the identification of systemic barriers that impede access.
Although the power to regulate immigration and enact immigration laws rests exclusively with the federal government, some state laws and local ordinances have been enacted to involve state and local officials in immigration enforcement and to cut off access to programs, benefits, and services to non-citizens including undocumented immigrants. This article discusses federal preemption of state laws that attempt to restrict immigrant access to services that have been deemed by the Attorney General of the United States to be necessary for the protection of life and safety.
This guide is a tool for advocates and attorneys working at the state and national levels on public policy advocacy to secure reforms in laws, policies and practices that improve access to justice, help, and services and to expand legal options for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Describes as step by step approach to working toward policy and law reform with a particular emphasis on building relationships and cross disciplinary collaborations that are essential to securing change now and in the future.
A cross-country survey of advocates and attorneys that work with and represent U-visa applicants in an effort to learn more about the extent to which U-visa applicants and their children plan to file for and qualify for lawful permanent residency should they be granted a U-visa.
This collection of stories was developed to illustrate the harms to immigrant victims of domestic violence and sexual assault that would occur if proposed changes in the immigration protections offered under VAWA and U visa immigration relief were rolled back. Provisions in the House VAWA Reauthorization of 2012 proposed to make significant changes to the U visa program that would cut off U visa access for many victims, would end U visa lawful permanent residency protections, and would impose case processing changes that would endanger victim safety. This storybook contributed to President Obama issuing a veto threat of legal protections currently available in law were rolled back in VAWA 2013 for any victims. The stories illustrate how victims will be harmed if access to lawful permanent residency for u visa victims is denied; why U visa holders need lawful permanent residency, U visa case benefits for victim safety and law enforcement even when no criminal case is opened or pursued; and Perpetrator Interference With Victim Access to VAWA Immigration Relief.
Story collection allows advocates to assess and document the problems that victims face in their communities when they seek help from the police, the justice system, victim services, social services, or the healthcare system. This story collection tool provides a step by step guide to help advocates, attorneys and community based programs working with crime victims document problems in the field that victims encounter that impede their access to services, the justice system, health care and other assistance and legal rights. This story collection process can be tailored to a variety of different issues and groups of victims.
Sample U Visa Certification Policy for law enforcement agencies developed with funding from BJA and OVW.
An brief analysis of needed policy reforms with emphasis on immigrant women’s needs for a Comprehensive Immigration Reform.
A collection of real life stories that illustrate the hardships U visa and T visa holders face without access to lawful permanent residency included in the U visa and T visa statues. This collection was submitted to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Office of Budget and Management as part of advocacy to secure issuance and influence the protections that would be included in the T and U visa lawful permanent residency (adjustment of status) regulations.
This manual aims to enhance the ability of women in rural areas who are survivors of domestic violence to become leaders against domestic violence in their communities. Trained survivors are effective advocates who can educate others about domestic violence and can provide advocacy to ensure that battered farm worker women can access the broad range of legal and social services available to help battered women. This advocacy and support is needed to ensure that police, courts, shelters, public benefits, immigration and health care systems do not fail farm worker battered women who are legally entitled to help. Most employees working in these systems are unaware of the special legal protections available to battered immigrant women and farm worker women.
**NOTE: This manual has not been updated to include law changes occurring since the manual was first published in 2004. Please see other materials in this web library for up to date information on immigration, public benefits, health care and legal services assistance and relief for immigrant survivors.
This report presents the experiences of battered immigrant women who have encountered intimate and family violence and examines the common and unique features of abuse experienced by immigrant women relative to non-immigrant women. It highlights the dynamics of the abuse, the coping mechanisms immigrant women adopt, and their help-seeking behavior. It describes their appeals to the justice system and to legal and social service providers, with a special focus on the way in which immigration status and domestic violence interact within these institutional spheres. The report also details the justice system response to battered immigrant women from the victims/survivors’ perspectives and from the perspectives of those who attend to their needs–service providers and domestic violence, family, and immigration lawyers.
Paper presented at a symposium convened by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars entitled Women’s Rights in Theory and Practice: Employment, Violence and Poverty, May 21-22, 2002. Discussing the demographics of immigrant women in the United States and the importance that services providers, advocates and attorneys learn how to provide culturally appropriate assistance to diverse immigrant victims, the significance of fear of deportation as a barrier, and the importance of identifying and working with survivors the continuum of violence immigrant survivors experience.