Nothing is more important to me in my job than the rights of my clients – particularly those who have been victimized in some way. I work with a lot of survivors – those who have experienced some sort of sexual or domestic violence or trauma and are dealing with the consequences. Of course, as an immigration attorney, my expertise in the area is limited to the immigration eligibility that may stem from such victimization and cooperation with law enforcement.
One huge piece of legislation that has provided a path to recovery to countless victimized women is VAWA, the Violence Against Women Act. Recently, Congresswoman Adams, a Republican from Florida, introduced a VAWA reauthorization bill, H.R. 4970. Although by its title it would seem crazy to oppose reauthorization of such a landmark and effective law, this bill does more harm than good. I would like to spread the word so that victims are kept protected and this bill is reauthorized intelligently.
Please, if you are interested, read the following:
HR 4970 Empowers Abusers, Not Victims (article in the Huffington Post)
AILA Talking Points on HR 4970 (American Immigration Lawyers Association opposed this bill)
Letter sign-on against HR 4970 posted by AILA and signed by many organizations
Information about the protections that VAWA currently provides in the immigration context:
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Provides Protections for Immigrant Women and Victims of Crime from the Immigrant Legal Resources Center