Materials list covering the following topics: Legal Rights Overview and Brochures; Access to Public Benefits and Services for Immigrant Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Victims; Child Care; Drivers’ Licenses; Education; Health Care; Shelter and Transitional Housing; Public and Assisted Housing; LIHEAP; Non-Work Social Security Numbers; Public Charge and Immigrant Victims; TANF; VAWA Confidentiality; Legal Services Representation of Immigrant Victims; and Immigrant Victim’s Immigration Options
This document contains the full statutory, legislative history, and history of policies issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Office of Principal Legal Advisor at Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Abusers often use the threat of immigration enforcement as a way to maintain power and control and to make victims less likely to seek protection. For this reason, it is important for advocates to understand how to: help immigrant survivors become aware of their rights; identify special immigration remedies for victims, including special VAWA provisions around confidentiality; and how to prepare […]
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.
The Three Prongs of VAWA Confidentiality and Courthouse Protections for Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Human Trafficking and Other U Visa Criminal Activities (March 3, 2017) By: Leslye E. Orloff VAWA confidentiality was designed to enhance protection for immigrant crime victims in several significant ways. It allows victims to confidentially file for immigration relief […]
United States Citizenship and Immigration Service USCIS revisions to adjudicators manual and policy memo implementing VAWA 2005’s creation of access to work authorization for immigrant spouses and children subjected to battery or extreme cruelty by their work visa holder (A, E(3), G or H) spouse or parent.
NIWAP Newsletter • VAWA Confidentiality • January 2015 The National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project (NIWAP, pronounced new-app) is pleased to announce a series of newsletters specialized by topic that we are developing in our capacity as national technical assistance providers under our Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice, grant. This newsletter, the […]
Decision of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on VAWA confidentiality protected discovery on federal employment cases.
Amicus Brief in a federal employment discrimination case brought by the EEOC and immigrant employees who were victims of sexual assault and other crimes against Koch Foods in Mississippi. The Amicus Brief discusses VAWA confidentiality its legislative history and purpose and argues why VAWA confidentiality protected case files in VAWA self-petition and U visa cases should not be discoverable in an employment civil action. The case cites cases denying discovery in state family and criminal court cases.
Advocate’s Role in VAWA and U Visas PowerPoint (PDF)
Anticipating and Protecting Immigrant Survivors’ Privacy Interests
This document tracks the history of VAWA confidentiality statutory amendments 1996-2016
This notice reports on the trainings conducted by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Office of Principal Legal Advisor on VAWA Confidentiality and immigration protections for victims for ICE Assistant chief counsel and Enforcement and removal officers. The goal of this training was to ensure that all ICE Trial Attorneys and the Assistant Chief Counsel they report to are aware of the requirements of VAWA confidentiality and the protections available to immigrant crime victims under the VAWA, T visa, and U visa programs and under the 2011 Victim Witness Memo. The document lists the process for contacting the ICE Office of Chief Counsel for problems with particular cases and the point of contact at OPLA on VAWA confidentiality.
Understanding the Three Safeguards and Limited Discovery Exceptions when Advocating for Survivors in Family and Criminal State Courts. This project was supported by Grant No. 2013-TA-AX-K009 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions and recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do […]
DHS VAWA confidentiality implementation instructions that apply to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, Customs and Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. These instructions explain in detail the steps DHS officials are required to take to comply with VAWA confidentiality’s bars on reliance on information provided by perpetrators and their family members, bars on immigration enforcement actions at protected locations and bars of release of information about the existence of and information contained in VAWA confidentiality protected cases, including VAWA self-petitions, VAWA cancellation, VAWA suspension of deportation, and T and U visa cases.
Demaj v Sakaj VAWA confidentiality decision.
Office of Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA) memorandum on VAWA 2005 Amendments to the Immigration and Naturalization Act and changes made to VAWA confidentiality protections and ICE memorandum on Interim Guidance Relating to Officer Procedure
These slides were presented by Leslye Orloff, Judge Mary Weir, 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.
A handout of the material distributed in the judge’s training in Minnesota. Interest in this training arose as a result of our work with judges in Minnesota on U visa certification by judges. Leslye Orloff and Judge Lora Livingston presented at this training in December 2015. NIWAP worked with the Judicial Education Program Manager to identify which areas needed to be addressed and issues the judges were most interested in learning more about.
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, […]
Collection of summaries of Department of Homeland Security legal memorandum and guidance regarding VAWA, T-Visas, and U-Visas.
The purpose of this form is to assist you in filing a civil rights/civil liberties complaint with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) regarding DHS programs and activities. This form is not intended to be used for complaints about employment with DHS. You are not required to use this form to file a complaint; a letter with the same information is sufficient. However, if you file a complaint by letter, you should include the same information that is requested in the form.
The following article provides an up-to-date list of VAWA statutory provisions for which no implementing regulations or policies have been issued. This list is followed by a consequent list of VAWA and Trafficking Victim
Protection Act (TVPA) regulations that were overruled by statute. This report ends with a list of
current regulations that do not reflect expansions of VAWA or TVPA protections that became
law subsequent to the issuance of the regulations.
Often, immigrant survivors of abuse may be afraid their abusers will report their lack of status to immigration authorities or that their abusers will refuse to file for status if the victims disclose the violence to law enforcement officials. Congress recognized the unique predicament faced by immigrant survivors and, in response, created alternative paths to legal immigration status and special protections in the form of VAWA confidentiality.
This document recounts the legislative history of laws offering protection for victims of domestic violence sexual assault and human trafficking with a particular focus on the immigration relief developed by Congress to protect immigrant survivors.
Information on state confidentiality statutes and a detailed table of the most common privileged relationships by state.
Chapter in Empowering Survivors: Legal Rights of Immigrant Victims of Sexual Assault. This chapter contains detailed legislative history on the development and evolution of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) confidentiality protections under U.S. immigration laws. VAWA’s immigration confidentiality protections accomplish three objectives: 1) preventing DHS, DOJ and the U.S. State Department from relying on information provided by a perpetrator or the perpetrator’s family member to harm victims; 2) barring the release by government officials of information about the existence of, actions taken in, or materials contained in a VAWA confidentiality protected case file; and 3) establishing a list of protected locations at which immigration enforcement actions in cases involving immigrant crime victims are not to take place. This chapter discusses each of these protections in detail and includes statutory and legislative history, regulations and government policies implementing VAWA confidentiality protections. This chapter also contains a discussion of sanctions applicable to DHS, DOJ, and State Department officials when VAWA confidentiality violations occur.
A workshop from NIWAP’s national conference in New Orleans on information about implementing case strategies when opposing party seeks VAWA confidentiality protected information, submitting motions, making arguments, and introducing evidence in support of a motion, and filing and winning motions.
Plenary from NIWAP’s national conference in New Orleans on screening for immigration relief to trigger VAWA confidentiality protections, and complaint procedures for violations.
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.
A brochure summarizing the three prongs of VAWA confidentiality (Disclosure Limitations, Source Limitations, & Enforcement Limitations) for advocates and attorneys, including information on best practices and complaint instructions.
This factsheet provides an introduction to VAWA confidentiality, an overview of the decisions in Hawke v. United States Department of Homeland Security and Demaj v. Sakaj, and implications of the Hawke and Demaj decisions in state family court cases.
Best practices for service providers to follow in order to ensure survivor safety in accordance with VAWA confidentiality and state confidentiality laws.
Webcast of State Justice Institute funded training for state court judges of issues that arise in cases of immigrant crime victims and children.
Department of Homeland Security directive on agency wide implementation of Section 1367 VAWA confidentiality provisions.
An overview of federal immigration VAWA confidentiality laws for state family/civil court judges.
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 […]
Section 809 of VAWA 2013, defining eligibility of crime and trafficking victims in the commonwealth of the northern Mariana Islands to adjust status and section 810 of VAWA 2013, covering disclosure of information for national security purposes.
Section 1367 interlineated with VAWA 2013 amendments.
Legal Momentum, Sanctuary for Families, and National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project submitted this brief on VAWA confidentiality protections as Amici curiae in support of the Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York in a criminal court case.
Sample brief opposing discovery of VAWA confidentiality protected case files in a family court case base on Amicus Curiae brief filed in a family court case in support of a Motion for a Protective Order before the Superior Court of Cobb County, Georgia.
Information regarding shelter victim confidentiality and how state immigration legislation may impact domestic violence and shelter programs’ ability to comply with confidentiality requirements under state and federal law.
Broadcast from the Department of Homeland Security to DHS personnel on the creation of the Class of Admission “384” code in the Central Index System, that alerts personnel of an immigrant victim who is protected by VAWA confidentiality protections.
Sample motion for protective order in family court cases to prevent disclosure of VAWA confidentiality protected information.
Sample plaintiffs’ motion in limine to strike the defendants’ pleadings, motions, and advocacy for pleadings and motions for violation of federal rule of civil procedure 11. This sample includes a discussion of VAWA confidentiality and how Rule 11 sanctions may be applicable when opposing counsel is making threats of deportation or criminal prosecution of an immigrant crime victim during or before a civil trial.
Factsheet that summarizes the three prongs of VAWA confidentiality.
An order denying the first amended petition filed in Mark Hawke v. United States Department of Homeland Security, Citizenship and Immigration Services, No. C-07-03456 RMW.
Federal Court judgment in Mark Hawke v. United States Department of Homeland Security, Citizenship and Immigration Services, No. C-07-03456 RMW.
Legal Momentum’s brief as Amicus Curiae in opposition to petitioner’s attempts to circumvent the confidentiality requirements of VAWA statutes in Hawke v. Department of Homeland Security, United States District Court, Northern District of California, San Jose Division.
Information about VAWA confidentiality provisions at the Department of Homeland Security and instructions for reporting a violation.
A summary of the decision in Hawke v. Department of Homeland Security, a case of first impression on the issue of VAWA confidentiality.
A brief history of the Violence Against Women Act and congressional intent that lead to the expanded legal protections for immigrant crime victims in the 2005 reauthorization written by Representative John Conyers, Jr.
Memorandum from John Torres to Field Office Directors and Special Agents in Charge providing guidance to operational units of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on the new confidentiality procedures created by VAWA 2005 in cases involving individuals who may be eligible to apply for VAWA benefits or T or U visas.
Immigration and Nationality Act section 239 provision on the initiation of removal proceedings. Section 239(e) defines when a certificate of compliance was required when an enforcement action that took place at a sensitive location lead to a removal proceeding to ensure that confidentiality provisions were complied with.
Hon. John Conyers, Jr.’s remarks on VAWA 2005.
A report of the Committee on the Judiciary House of Representatives to Accompany HR 3402, for the fiscal years 2006 through 2009.
Excerpts from HR 3402 made by the committee on the Judiciary House of Representatives.
Section 1367 of VAWA 2005 detailing the penalties for disclosure of information, as it appeared in the U.S. code in 2005.
Confidentiality nondisclosure provision in VAWA 2005, section 817, as it appears in the House version of VAWA 2005.
VAWA 2005 section 825 (c) amended INA section 239 (8 U.S.C. 1229), adding a requirement that a certificate of compliance be filed if an enforcement action took place at a sensitive location that lead to a removal proceeding to ensure that confidentiality provisions in Section 384 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRAIRA) were complied with.
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.
Memorandum from Paul Virtue outlining changes in the handling of I-360 self-petitions for immigrant status filed by battered spouses and children of U.S. citizens and permanent residents aliens and addresses related issues.
Memorandum from Paul Virtue regarding non-disclosure and other prohibitions relating to battered aliens under IIRIRA 384 confidentiality provisions to all INS employees.
Full version of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA) of 1996 , public law 104-208. Confidentiality provisions are listed in Section 384.
A memorandum about the operating policies and procedures for identifying potential battered spouse/ battered child cases from the office of the Chief Immigration Judge to all deputy chief immigration judges, all assistant chief immigration judges, all immigration judges, all court administrators, all judicial law clerks, and all court staff.