from our friends at Annunciation House
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which has helped numerous Annunciation House guests escape dangerous and violent situations in the U.S., is up for reauthorization in Congress. In its reauthorization bill, HR 4970, the House of Representatives has made changes to VAWA that are extremely detrimental to VAWA petitioners – overwhelmingly abused women – as well as U Visa recipients.
IMPERATIVE! CALL MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND URGE THEM NOT TO SUPPORT HR 4970 AND TO VOTE AGAINST HR 4970. CALL TODAY!
An excellent website with comprehensive information on HR 4970 is: http://www.4vawa.org.
The immigration provision of HR 4970 can be found on page 143 of Section 801. Go to:
During its 34 year history, Annunciation House has hosted countless undocumented abused women. Just last week, a mother and her three children, victims of severe abuse and VAWA recipients, were able to move into their own small apartment after being in one of our houses for over two years. This was ONLY possible because under VAWA, they were granted immigration status with the corresponding Employment Authorization Documents that allow the family to become self sufficient. HR 4970 would make VAWA much more difficult and possibly impossible for families such as this one.
Equally as important, HR 4970 ELIMINATES the ability of U Visa recipients to adjust to Legal Permanent Residents (LPR) as is presently possible. What this means is that after being in a U Visa status for four years, HR 4970 mandates that the U Visa recipient basically self deport to their home country.
The U Visa is granted to individuals who have been officially certified as a victim of a serious crime by a district attorney office or a police department. In order to be certified as a victims, the individual must cooperate with law enforcement in the prosecution of that crime. Congress created the U Visa precisely to encourage undocumented immigrants to cooperate with law enforcement without fearing that that cooperation would lead to their deportation.
Annunciation House is presently working with several U Visa petitioning families who were victims of crimes ranging from attempted murder to rape. These are families who cooperated with police, whose willingness to testify led to the criminal arrest and conviction of the perpetrators, and who were then officially certified by the district attorney’s office or the police department as victims. HR 4970 will place this process in jeopardy…