[pdf] Chapter 3.3 Preparing the VAWA Self-Petition and Applying for Residence (August 16, 2023) (+)

Guide to preparing and filing Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Self-Petitions on behalf of battered immigrant spouse, children, step-children, former spouses, and parents of citizens and lawful permanent residents. Includes applications for lawful permanent residency for approved VAWA self-petitioners and their children.

[pdf] Chapter 07: Preparing the VAWA Self-Petition and Applying for Lawful Residence (August 15, 2023) (+)

Chapter 7 in Empowering Survivors: Legal Rights of Immigrant Victims of Sexual Assault. This chapter provides practical tips for filing a self-petition and apply for lawful permanent residency under the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) as revised in 2005.

[pdf] Nguyen v. INS, 2000 (June 16 2000) U.S. App. LEXIS 6860 5th Circuit (+)

Nguyen v. INS, 2000 U.S. App. LEXIS 6860 (5th Cir. June 16 2000) Filed an brief in support of a
Petition of Certiorari to the United States Supreme Court (2000) in an equal protection clause challenge to a federal immigration law that treats foreign born out-of-wedlock children of citizen mothers differently from similarly situated children of citizen fathers for purposes of obtaining citizenship. (Legal Momentum)

[pdf] Cabezas (2010) US Citizenship and Immigration Service Administrative Appeals Office (+)

Esteban Cabezas is an appeal to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Administrative Appeals Office (2010) of a denial of a VAWA self-petition by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, Vermont Service Center. This case raises important issues about the any credible evidence standard to be applied in VAWA self-petitioning cases and on immigration related abuse and the role this abuse plays as part of a pattern of extreme cruelty. (Andrew Taylor, Pro Bono)

[pdf] Chapter 03.6: U-Visas: Victims of Criminal Activity (August 8, 2023) (+)

Full chapter excerpt from “Breaking Barriers: A Complete Guide to Legal Rights and Resources for Battered Immigrants” to assist advocates and attorneys in identifying sexual assault, domestic violence, and other crime victims who may be eligible for U-visa immigration status and to provide resources to help advocates and attorneys work together to prepare U-visa applications for immigrant crime victims.

[pdf] Chapter 10: U Visas: Victims of Criminal Activity (August 8, 2023) (+)

Chapter from “Empowering Survivors: Legal Rights of Immigrant Victims of Sexual Assault” to assist advocates and attorneys in identifying sexual assault, domestic violence, and other crime victims who may be eligible for U-visa immigration status and to provide resources to help advocates and attorneys work together to prepare U-visa applications for immigrant crime victims.

[pdf] Advocate’s and Attorney’s Tool for Developing a Survivor’s Story: Trauma Informed Approach (April 27, 2023) (+)

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. The 2023 update includes questions to assess stalking behaviors and risk factors.

[pdf] Legislative History of VAWA (94,00,05), T and U-Visas, Battered Spouse Waiver, and VAWA Confidentiality (January 5, 2023) (+)

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.

[pdf] Chapter 03.4: VAWA Cancellation of Removal (July 10, 2013) (+)

This chapter provides basic information on VAWA cancellation of removal, lists the eligibility requirements that must be met by an applicant, and provides some suggested examples of evidence that an attorney or advocate may offer to meet each requirement. This chapter is designed to help advocates and attorneys who are not immigration attorneys identify immigrant victims who may be eligible for cancellation of removal. The information provided will also be useful to immigration attorneys who may not have experience with domestic violence, sexual assault, or incest cases. This chapter will help them to work in collaboration with advocates and other attorneys assisting immigrant victims. The most successful cancellation of removal cases are those in which advocates and civil attorneys support the efforts of the immigration attorney.

[pdf] Public Benefits Flow Charts: VAWA Self‐Petition and Cancellation, U-Visas, T-Visas, and SIJS (December 29, 2021) (+)

These flowcharts provide an overview of the public benefits eligibility process for VAWA self-petitioners, VAWA cancelation of removal applicants, U visa and T visa applicants and children applying for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. They provide useful tools to be used together with NIWAP’s public benefits maps and charts. State by State Benefits Map and Charts – https://niwaplibrary.wcl.american.edu/all-state-public-benefits-charts

[pdf] When Immigration Issues Arise in Custody Cases Involving Immigrant Survivors: Strategies Roadmap for Family Lawyers Handout (January 24, 2013) (+)

Reference tool for family lawyers with information on best practices for responding when perpetrators of domestic violence and other parents raise the immigration status of a primary caretaker immigrant parent offensively to gain advantage in a state court custody proceeding.

[pdf] U Visa Quick-Reference for Law Enforcement and Prosecutors (March 24, 2021) (+)

Part of the U Visa Certification Toolkit for Law Enforcement and Prosecutors. This quick reference guide assists law enforcement and prosecutors summarizing the U visa certification and is based on the DHS U and T Certification Resource Guide.

[pdf] Sample Designee Letter – Pdf (+)

Sample letter to be signed by the head of a government agency signing U visa certifications in which the head of the agency specifies the positions or names of supervisory staff to whom the head of the agency is delegating U visa signing authority. This sample form can be used by Police Chief, Sheriff, Prosecutor, District Attorney, head of child or adult protective services agency or other government agency head. This sample is provided in word and should be transferred to department or agency stationary. It is recommended that when the authority signing U visa certifications for the agency is not the head of the agency that a copy of the designation letter be provided to the immigrant crime victim along with the U visa certification form.

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

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

[pdf] List of Webinars for Courts (Updated 9/30/19) (+)

The National Women’s Advocacy Project (NIWAP) offers online learning through webinars, webcasting, and training modules. Along with our partner organizations, we facilitate trainings with experts to answer all your questions relating to immigrant crime victims.

This page includes a list of all NIWAP’s past webinars that we think judges and court staff may find helpful. They are organized by topic, and each page includes supplemental materials from our web library to complement each presentation and provide further clarification.

For a list of all of NIWAP’s webinars, please go to this link: https://niwaplibrary.wcl.american.edu/all-niwap-webinars/

[pdf] VAWA Self-Petitioning Flow Charts (June 19, 2019) (+)

The VAWA Self-Petitioning Flow Charts are screening tools meant to determine eligibility for VAWA immigration relief for immigrant survivors of abuse, including abused adults, children, and elders. Each flow chart addresses the possibility of VAWA immigration relief for the corresponding group of immigrant survivors.

[pdf] Do you have problems at home? (July 16, 2015) (+)

This booklet explains the legal rights of immigrant victims of family violence including domestic violence, child abuse and elder abuse.

[pdf] VAWA-Confidentiality-History-Purpose-and-Violations (+)

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.

[pdf] VAWA Confidentiality and Breaches (2013) (+)

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

[pdf] Brochure: Know Your Rights (+)

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

[pdf] VAWA “Red Flags” (July 16, 2015) (+)

This “Red Flags” list was developed to help advocates and attorneys who are not immigration experts screen the immigrant victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking they are working with to identify potential issues in the client crime victim’s case that would require assistance from an immigration attorney with particular expertise in working on cases of immigrant crime victims. When the factors contained on this list are not present in your client’s case, an advocate or attorney who is not an immigration expert can and should assist immigrant victims in filing for VAWA, T and U visa cases.

[pdf] Trauma History Questionnaire (+)

The following is a series of questions about serious or traumatic life events. These types of events actually occur with some regularity, although we would like to believe they are rare, and they affect how people feel about, react to, and/or think about things subsequently. Knowing about the occurrence of such events, and reactions to them, will help us to develop programs for prevention, education, and other services. The questionnaire is divided into questions covering crime experiences, general disaster and trauma questions, and questions about physical and sexual experiences.

[pdf] Cuestionario Historial de Trauma (+)

Ha continuación hay una serie de preguntas sobre eventos traumáticos de la vida. Estos tipos de eventos le ocurren regularmente a personas en la vida cotidiana aunque tratamos de creer que es rara la vez que suceden. La experiencia de un evento serio o traumático la manera en que una persona le afecta, siente, piensa, y reacciona a otras cosas ahora o en el futuro.

[pdf] Chapter 08: Immigration Relief for Child Sexual Assault Survivors (July 10, 2014) (+)

Chapter in Empowering Survivors: Legal Rights of Immigrant Victims of Sexual Assault. This chapter provides basic information on various immigration remedies available to child survivors of sexual abuse and/or assault. This chapter will cover: (1) VAWA (“Violence Against Women Act”) self-petitioning; (2) VAWA cancellation of removal and suspension of deportation; (3) Special Immigrant Juvenile status (“SIJ”); (4) U-visas/interim relief; (5) T-visas; and (6) asylum.

[pdf] How Training and Expertise Improve VAWA Immigration Case Processing: The Efficacy and Legislative History of the Specialized VAWA Unit (+)

In passing the Violence Against Women Act and including immigration protections in it, Congress sought to create a mechanism through which U.S. immigration laws could offer help to immigrant victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and other crimes. Spousal abuse consists of chronic violence and is characterized by persistent intimidation and repeated physical and psychological harm. Absent intervention, it is almost guaranteed that the same woman will be assaulted over and over by her mate. Studies indicate that the repeated violence escalates in severity over time and knowledge of this fact is the foremost reason women stay with their batterers.

[pdf] Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Board of Immigration Appeals Adjudications: A Call for Consistency and for Adjudications That Reflect VAWA’s Legislative Purpose and the Courts Best Practices in the Handling of Domestic Violence Adjudications (+)

NIWAP report to the Board of Immigration Appeals documenting the extent to which immigration judges and members of Board of Immigration Appeals and their staff need training on the dynamics of domestic violence (battering or extreme cruelty). Enhanced understanding battering or extreme cruelty experienced by immigrant victims of spouse or child abuse who are married to or the child of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents will improve outcomes for VAWA cancellation of removal and suspension of deportation applicants furthering the goals of VAWA. This report urges creation of a specialized panel at the BIA that receive specialized training and be charged with BIA review of VAWA cancellation of removal and suspension of deportation cases.