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Scary new House Bill Could Rip VAWA Protections for Immigrants Apart
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Posted On: May 2, 2012

This is a summary of a new urgent Alert from the National Immigration Project about a  new US House of Representatives bill to be voted on likely by May 8, 2012 that would  re-victimize survivors of domestic violence and other crimes by forcing victims to be interviewed by local immigration offices not specially trained in victim issues; allowing abusers to participate in the self-petition process; and repealing U-visa crime victims’ path to adjust status.

EFFECTS OF THE BILL
HR 4970 is a GOP VAWA bill that has been introduced on the House side. The bill contains numerous provisions that actually would roll back protections in current law for battered immigrants. 

The bill would have a number of disastrous effects on survivors, among them:

·         make it more difficult and risky for abused aliens to self-petition for immigration relief (Section 801);
·         require that abused aliens seeking U visas report the abuse within 60 days of its occurrence,
·         require that the statute of limitations has not lapsed on the crime embodied in the abuse, and
·         require that the crime embodied in the abuse is actively under investigation or prosecution (Section 802);
·         require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to issue a report on possible fraud in petitions and self-petitions by abused aliens for U and T visas  (Section 805);
·         repeal the provision in current law that makes it possible for “U” visa recipients to adjust to LPR status (Section 806);
·         provide exceptions to confidentiality promised to trafficking victims in order to permit information sharing “for national security purpose[s]” (Section 811);
·         require DHS to consider statements made by the abuser in cases where an abused alien is seeking (Section 812);
·         and a requirement that the GAO issue a report to Congress on the effectiveness of Section 802 (Section 813).

What you Can Do Now

Contact your House representatives (Call their office!!) to oppose HR 4970 (Cantor-Adams VAWA bill) 

House Switchboard:  (202) 225-3121 

Find Your Representative by Entering Your Zip Code: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/#altcontact

When you call, ask if they are aware how the bill would harm, not help, immigrant survivors. Express your dismay that HR 4970 fails to recognize how public safety and quality of life are enhanced by increased reporting and extending protection to ALL victims, including immigrant crime victims.  Tell them that you are horrified that the bill would also re-victimize survivors of domestic violence and other crimes by forcing victims to be interviewed by local immigration offices not specially trained in victim issues; allowing abusers to participate in the self-petition process; and repealing U-visa crime victims’ path to adjust status.

Most importantly, please forward this request to anyone you know who can vote and is opposed to such abusive, restrictive immigration laws and supports survivors of domestic violence- your friends, family, faith-based organizations, domestic violence/sexual assault counselors, public health organizations, and especially your LAW ENFORCEMENT CONTACTS—it is imperative that their voices and perspectives are heard NOW.

www.nationalimmigrationproject.org
NIPNLG 1971-2011 – 40 years of working together for immigrant rights!

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Get Your Free Guide! Immigration Attorneys & You: How to Choose Between the Right One and Those You Should Run From by Attorney Heather L. Poole
Attorney Heather L. Poole practices exclusively in the area of U.S. family-based immigration law and citizenship law. Heather is a nationally-published immigration author, frequent lecturer on immigration issues, and member & officer of the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s Southern California Chapter. For more information about Heather and the services offered, visit www.humanrightsattorney.com

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