Dangerous Version of Violence Against Women Act Introduced in the House
A new version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), approved by the House Judiciary Committee and introduced by Representative Sandy Adams, Republican of Florida, has dangerous implications for immigrant victims of sexual and domestic violence.
The Adams bill erodes protections for immigrant victims of violence by undermining the U-visa program. The U-visa is a temporary visa allowing an immigrant victim of a serious crime to stay in the US to assist law enforcement in investigating and prosecuting the crime. The Adams bill provides that crime victims awarded a U-visa would no longer be eligible for permanent residency after the temporary visa expires. The prospect of eventual deportation would provide abusers with leverage to keep victims in violent relationships and inhibit victim cooperation with law enforcement.