Photo: U-Visa Limitation
The National Coalition for Immigrant Women’s Rights (NCIWR) commends the Senate’s passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), but expresses concern over the exclusion of critical provisions for immigrant survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
While the Senate-approved VAWA bill retains many of the same protections as the bill proposed in the 112thCongress, it does not include the provision increasing the number of U-visas for undocumented immigrants who are survivors of domestic or sexual violence.
U-visas allow survivors of sexual or domestic violence to petition for temporary legal status and work eligibility without relying on the status of an abusive partner. This opportunity allows undocumented victims, who are often intimidated or threatened into silence by their abusers, to testify against their attackers without fear of being deported.
Senator Leahy (D-VT), who sponsored the bill, has stated that he intends to include the U-visa provision in an immigration policy reform package.
The National Coalition for Immigrant Women’s Rights is the leading national collaboration to specifically focus on women and gender issues in the public discourse on immigration.