[pdf] Understanding the Significance of a Minor’s Trauma History in Family Court Rulings: Implications for Cases of Immigrant Children and Youth (February 3, 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.

[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.

[pdf] State Restrictions on Immigrant Access to VOCA Compensation (+)

This policy memo seeks additional regulations and policies from the U.S. Department of Justice that would prevent states from cutting off immigrant crime victims from Victims of Crime Act Funded Victims Compensation. The memo covers legal research and Office of Victims of Crime policies confirming that VOCA Compensation is not a federal public benefit and immigrant restrictions do not apply. It also discusses that approach the two states restricting immigrant access to victims’ compensation have taken and reports survey data on the impact that these restrictions have on crime victims in those states.

[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] Access to Emergency Shelters and Transitional Housing for Battered Immigrants and Immigrant Victims of Crime (+)

The National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project (NIWAP) conducted a nationwide survey of advocates, attorneys, government agencies, victim services, and members of the justice system, who were asked to answer a series of questions about immigrant clients (who had been victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, or human trafficking) who encountered, needed, or sought access to transitional housing services. This paper will provide an overview of survey participants and will focus on reporting, analyzing, and making policy recommendations regarding the data collected on transitional housing. The survey sought to discover what immigrant survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and child abuse are being asked to prove to be able to gain access to transitional housing and whether they are allowed to prove eligibility using the “any credible evidence” standard of proof akin to evidentiary standards used for VAWA immigration cases.

[pdf] NIWAP Survey Findings on Access to Public and Assisted Housing for VAWA Self-petitioners, their Children, and Trafficking Victims (+)

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.

[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] Detained or Deported: What About My Children? What to do if You Can’t Be With Them (+)

This guide describes the child welfare system in great detail. If you do not know what a word or term means, see the Glossary. You may need to read certain sections in this guide several times in order to understand and you may also need to ask someone else for help.

[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 1.1 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] Report to the Legal Services Corporation: Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Human Trafficking and Access to Legal Services (+)

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.

Law Enforcement, Prosecutor and T and U Visa Certifier Training Materials

Most of the documents in this section and the trainings provided to law enforcement and prosecutors listed at the end of this section were supported by grants from the Office on Violence Against Women, The Bureau of Justice Assistance and/or the Training and Technical Assistance Center of the Office of Victims of Crime of the […]

[pdf] National Survey of Service Providers on Police Response to Immigrant Crime Victims, U Visa Certification and Language Access (+)

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.

[pdf] Stories from the Field (+)

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.

[pdf] National Survey on Types of Criminal Activities: Experienced By U-Visa Recipients (+)

Results from a national survey of 220 legal services, pro bono law firms, advocates, law school clinical programs and others providing help to immigrant victims who have been granted U-visa immigration relief by DHS. The goal of this survey was to obtain provide a picture of the types of criminal activities suffered by immigrant crime victims receiving U-visas.

[pdf] Collecting Stories to Illustrate the Need for Proposed Reforms to Aid Immigrant Victims (+)

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.

[pdf] Access to Legal Services for Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence Sexual Assault and Trafficking (+)

Collection of stories illustrating immigrant victims need for access to legal services from LSC funded legal services agencies. These stories illustrate the dangers that will be prevented and the victims that will be helped by the VAWA 2005 amendments that guarantee that LSC-funded legal services programs can offer a range of life-saving legal assistance to immigrant victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and trafficking. This story collection was developed to encourage LSC funded agencies to implement the VAWA 2005 changes and open their doors to immigrant victims and to assist LSC in writing policies and regulations that result in improved immigrant victim access to legal services.

[pdf] New Dangers for Battered Immigrants: The Untold Effects When Immigrant Victims Have to Leave the U.S. to Obtain Lawful Permanent Residency as VAWA Self-Petitioners (+)

The stories recounted in this volume document the experiences of battered immigrants from around the country. In all of these cases, battered immigrants either filed or are in the process of filing self-petitions. Once the battered immigrant’s self-petition is approved the victim may apply for lawful permanent residency. The purpose of this compilation has been to highlight the potential hardships and dangers that battered immigrants face if they would be required to leave the United States and travel abroad to receive lawful permanent residency based upon their approved VAWA self-petition. Historically, battered immigrants abused by their U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouses or parents have been generally able to attain lawful permanent residency while continuing to reside in the United States. The stories collected here were used to secure amendments in VAWA 2000 that together with DHS policies allow immigrant victims to obtain lawful permanent residency without being required to leave the United States.

July 12, 2010: Portsmouth, New Hampshire

“Barriers and Successes in U-Visa for Immigrant Victims,” presented at the International Family Violence and Child Victimization Conference. Presented by Giselle Hass and Karen Monahan on July 12, 2010. Presentation on successful strategies and emerging issues for advocates and attorneys working with immigrant victims in U-visa cases, based on a review of grant reports filed by […]

[pdf] Intimate Partner Violence in Immigrant and Refugee Communities: Challenges, Promising Practices, and Recommendations (+)

This document describes intimate partner violence (IPV) in immigrant and refugee communities in the United States; acknowledging IPV as a widespread, costly, and complex social problem nationwide, with serious health and safety implications.

[pdf] T and U-visa Holders Need Legal Permanent Residency: Real Life Stories (+)

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.

[pdf] Wife Battery in Islam: A Comprehensive Understanding of Interpretations (+)

This article presents a comprehensive discussion of Islamic interpretations of wife beating. Four schools with varying Islamic perspectives on the issue of wife beating are explored. The schools are classified based on the severity of the patriarchal values reflected in the structural relationship between men (husbands) and women (wives) within the family and the general society. Literal, patriarchal, and feminist interpretations of the Qur’anic text are provided. This review of the range of Islamic interpretations regarding wife beating provides an educational tool for advocates, attorneys, and service providers working with immigrant Muslim women in the United States.

[pdf] The Violence Against Women Act Now Ensures Legal Services for Immigrant Victims (+)

Article discussing the need for the Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”) 2005’s expansions of access to legal services for immigrant victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. An overview of the VAWA 2005 Legal Services Corporation (“LSC”) amendments is provided including who is newly eligible, the scope of allowable representation, and best practices for implementation of the new law.

[pdf] Serving Limited English Proficient (LEP) Battered Women: A National Survey of the Courts’ Capacity to Provide Protection Orders (+)

This study explores the capacity of Limited English Proficient (LEP) petitioners to receive
orders of protection. It was carried out by using a multi-method study design that included a
national survey of courts, an intensive survey of a select group of courts and community-based
organizations within their jurisdictions, and the assessment of selected sites that can serve as
national models.

[pdf] Calls to Police and Police Response: A Case Study of Latina Immigrant women in the USA (+)

This paper addresses the experiences of battered immigrant Latina women when contacting police for assistance in attempting to reduce, end, or flee violence. The research consists of interviews with 230 battered immigrant Latina women experiencing violence. The analysis examined the factors contributing to the extent, frequency, and readiness of the women to call the police. The police response to and the effect of seeking help by battered immigrant Latina women on arrest of the perpetrator were also explored. The results show that the number of times and the frequency of contacting the police among battered immigrant Latina women was far less than would be expected based on their experienced with intimate partner violence. The factors which led women to call the police were mostly related to the stability of their immigration status, their children’s exposure to violence, the women’s region of origin and the frequency of domestic violence. The police response to this group of women demonstrates a lack of cultural sensitivity, and produces concerns regarding language accessibility and low rates of arrest. The paper concludes with recommendations about the need to better incorporate immigration as an additional factor in understanding intimate partner violence and help-seeking from police.

September 19, 2004: San Diego, California

“Children of Battered Immigrant Women: An Assessment of the Cumulative Effects of Violence, Access to Services and Immigrant Status.” Presentation by Nawal Ammar, Giselle Hass, Mary Ann Dutton and Leslye Orloff at the International Family Violence Conference. PowerPoint Presentation Co-occurrence of Domestic Violence and Child 9.20.04    

[pdf] Violence Against Women and Systemic Responses: An Exploratory Study (+)

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.

[pdf] Women Immigrants and Domestic Violence (+)

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.

[pdf] Offering a Helping Hand: Legal Protections for Battered Immigrant Women: A History of Legislative Responses (+)

This article chronicles the legislative history of immigration protections afforded immigrant crime victims in the Violence Against Women Acts (VAWA) of 1994 and 2000, through the Battered Spouse Waiver, and through VAWA Confidentiality, the history and development of the VAWA self-petition, VAWA cancellation of removal, the battered spouse waiver, any credible evidence standard, VAWA confidentiality, benefits access for battered immigrant VAWA self-petitioners and cancellation/suspension applicants, the U-Visa, victim’s ability to obtain lawful permanent residency in the U.S. and Legal Services Corporation funded legal assistance are discussed in detail. This article collects and publishes information contained in documents developed during advocacy that led to the passage of federal immigration law legislation creating each of these protections.

[pdf] The Roles of Culture, Context, and Legal Immigrant Status on Intimate Partner Violence (+)

Intimate partner violence against immigrant women is at epidemic proportions, but research has only recently begun to address the concern. A review of the legal, medical, and social science research literature reveals little data, but that which exist demonstrate that immigrant women’s cultures, contexts, and legal status (a) increase vulnerability for abuse, (b) are used by batterers to control and abuse immigrant women, and (c) create barriers to women seeking and receiving help. Data also reveal that immigrant culture and context offer resiliency factors through which programs and policy can be used to better serve these populations.

[pdf] Crossing the Threshold to Safety: Stories of Immigrant Crime Victims Who Will Benefit From Attaining U-visas (+)

Stories of victims who will benefit from U visa protections. These stories were collected as part of the effort to secure regulations implementing the U visa protections that became law as part of VAWA 2005.

[pdf] Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence (+)

A research report on the findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey on the extent, nature, and consequences of intimate partner violence in the United States. The National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cosponsored the survey through a grant to the Center for Policy Research.

[pdf] Expert Testimony Concerning Battering (+)

This appendix reviews research data and provide information about the dynamics of domestic violence in immigrant families on questions and issues that are relevant to fact finders who decide cases involving battered immigrant women. Attorneys and advocates representing battered immigrant women in VAWA cases are encouraged to include a copy of this material as supporting evidence in the VAWA case.

[pdf] Characteristics of Help-Seeking Behaviors, Resources, and Service Needs of Battered Immigrant Latinas: Legal and Policy Implications (+)

This briefing paper examines the obstacles for battered Latina women to preventing or escaping abuse and the services which are actually used to escape abuse. The paper surveys the literature and then explores the results of a survey designed and conducted by AYUDA among Latinas in Washington, DC.

[pdf] The Violence Against Women Act of 1994: Evaluation of the STOP Block Grants to Combat Violence Against Women (+)

This report documents the federal and state activities and accomplishments in the initial year of implementing the resulting “STOP Violence Against Women” grants program. It was developed under a competitively awarded grant from the National Institute of Justice to provide a basis for reporting on the progress and impact of the program.

[pdf] LSC Testimony: Unmet Needs of Domestic Violence Victims for Legal Services (+)

Testimony given by Legal Services Corporation (“LSC”) Chairman, Vice Chairman, and President before the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies of the House Appropriations Committee. The testimony uses empirical data to discuss the importance of access to legal services for domestic violence victims and their children.

[pdf] Survey Findings. Effects of Legal Services Cuts and Welfare Reform on Battered Women (+)

Findings of a survey conducted by Ayuda, Inc., in which thirty state domestic violence coalitions were interviewed on the importance of legal services and welfare for battered women and their children. This research was submitted to Congress as part of the efforts to secure the Kennedy Amendments to Legal Services restrictions for battered immigrants and access to public benefits for VAWA self-petitioners in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.

[pdf] St. Petersburg Times Article: For Lack of Legal Services (+)

An article on a the death of Mariella Batista, a battered immigrant who was turned away from legal services under new Legal Services Corporation (“LSC”) restrictions on representing immigrants, and was subsequently killed by her batterer on the courthouse steps in California. This story was the catalyst that led to the passage of the Kennedy Amendment to the LSC Appropriations Act in 1996 authorizing the use of non-LSC funds to represent some battered immigrants.

[pdf] New York Times Article: A Test of Congressional Conscience (+)

An article on a the death of Mariella Batista a battered immigrant who was turned away from legal services under new Legal Services Corporation (“LSC”) restrictions on representing immigrants, and was subsequently killed by her batterer on the courthouse steps in California. This story was the catalyst that led to the passage of the Kennedy Amendment to the LSC Appropriations Act in 1996 authorizing the use of non-LSC funds to represent some battered immigrants.

[pdf] Washington Post Article: Abused Immigrant Slain After Plea for Legal Services Help Is Denied (+)

An article on the death of Mariella Batista, a battered immigrant who was turned away from legal services under new Legal Services Corporation (“LSC”) restrictions on representing immigrants, and was subsequently killed by her batterer on the courthouse steps in California. This story was the catalyst that led to the passage of the Kennedy Amendment to the LSC Appropriations Act in 1996 authorizing the use of non-LSC funds to represent some battered immigrants.

[pdf] Dreams Lost, Dreams Found: Undocumented Women in the Land of Opportunity (+)

This study was designed to identify problems and social service needs of undocumented Filipina, Latina, and Chinese women in the Bay Area. Undocumented women in the Bay Area are a growing and neglected population in need of services. This study examines the factors causing increased migration by women to the U.S., and how these factors influence women’s lives once they are here. Findings of this study reveal the economic hardship of undocumented women and their families and provide insight into immigrant women’s experiences with domestic violence. This survey was the precursor to the survey conducted in the early 1990s by Ayuda.