The domestic violence community needs to remain vigilant about what happens with Immigration Reform in our country because of the potential impact that immigration policies and laws can have on immigrant victims of domestic violence. Immigrant victims of domestic violence, whether documented or undocumented, face particular barriers when seeking help. They are also less likely to report crimes or seek police assistance because they fear they will be reported to federal immigration authorities and deported or have their children taken away.
Immigrant victims of domestic violence face a series language and cultural barriers that make it difficult for them to understand their rights, access services, and work with law enforcement. Furthermore, abusers of immigrant victims often have additional power over their victims through deliberate attempts to misrepresent the law and by controlling immigration documents and threatening deportation or losing custody of their children if they report violence.
Since Congress first passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in 1994, federal legislation has addressed the additional challenges facing immigrant victims of domestic and sexual violence. In 2005, Congress took significant steps in the VAWA reauthorization to increase protections for immigrant victims of violence. Learn more about VAWA 2005.
The National Network to End Violence Against Immigrant Women monitors on-going immigration reform debate for proposals that will expose victims to even greater danger and make our communities less safe. They support immigration reform provisions that ensure immigrant victims of violence have access to law enforcement and services to escape violence.
The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) also supports policies that benefit all victims of domestic violence and believes that the ability of immigrant victims to receive police protection and restraining orders is crucial to efforts to end domestic and sexual violence. NNEDV works closely with the National Network to End Violence Against Immigrant Women to advocate for legislation that ensures abused immigrants can access police protection and receive services. Join NNEDV's Action Alert list and receive updates on when you can take action to keep immigrant victims safe!
The following two reports are downloadable from the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) website: www.nclr.org/index.php/publications
Five Facts About Undocumented Workers in the United States The strong presence of undocumented workers in the U.S. labor force illustrates the imbalance between the nation's immigration system and current economic realities. This fact sheet challenges some common myths about undocumented workers. Link to Publication
The Impact of Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act on the Latino Community The recent signing of Arizona SB 1070 and subsequent reactions to the law have brought significant attention to the dangers of state-level immigration enforcement and the urgent need for comprehensive federal immigration reform. One antecedent of the law is the federal law known as section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Link to Publication
NCLR also has numerous publications available in Spanish at http://www.nclr.org/index.php/site/pub_types/spanish_publications
Broken Trust Video - Enlace Comunitario, a domestic violence organization in Albuquerque, NM that serves immigrant families, has created a video that addresses this issue. Watch the video: http://www.enlacenm.org/brokentrust.html
Culturally Effective Legal Interviewing and Counseling for the Mexican Immigrant—A Case Study Enlace Comunitario, a domestic violence organization in Albuquerque, NM that serves immigrant families. (Download PDF)
Domestic Abuse and Immigration: An Advocate’s Perspective This article was written by one of Casa de Esperanza’s Family Advocates. Download - Casa de Esperanza - Publications
Farmworkers Speak Out - Article In Ms. Magazine Recommended for Farmworking Women & Working Hardships (Download PDF) - Lideres Campesinas - Publications
Gendered Grassroot Leadership - Research Report Expert (by Maylei Blackwell) Recommended for Farmworking Women & Gendered Leadership (Download PDF) - Lideres Campesinas - Publications
Impacto Comunitario Winter 2011 (bilingual) Enlace Comunitario, a domestic violence organization in Albuquerque, NM that serves immigrant families. (Download PDF)
Injustice on Our Plates is a new investigative report by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). It exposes the unconscionable exploitation and shocking array of abuses endured by poverty-stricken immigrant women working in the U.S. food industry. http://www.splcenter.org/sites/default/files/downloads/publication/Injustice_on_Our_Plates.pdf
For information on numerous Immigrant Justice Cases filed by SPLC (Agenda Area: Immigrant Justice) http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/case-docket