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The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) includes important protections for immigrant victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking. It is well known that abusers often use a victim’s lack of immigration status as a tactic of abuse – threatening to report them to ICE and have them deported. Similarly, it is extremely common for abusers to tell immigrant survivors that if they reach out for help from the police or the courts, then they will be arrested and separated from their families. As a result, it is important to ensure that immigrant victims know that they can reach out for help and that there are protections in place to help them access safety and justice. 

Included below are important resources to assist advocates in their efforts to engage in enhanced safety planning, help survivors access important immigration remedies, support systems advocacy efforts, and other useful websites.

Enhanced Safety Planning Resources:

Family Safety Planning Materials

Example of a Warrant Signed by a Judge (ACLU)

Example of a Warrant Signed by ICE (ACLU)

Make a Plan: Migrant Parents’ Guide to Preventing Family Separation (Women's Refugee Commission)

Assisting Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence: Law Enforcement Guide (BWJP)

Enhanced Safety Planning for Immigrant Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence / Planeamiento de Seguridad Reforzado para Inmigrantes Sobrevivientes de Violencia Doméstica y Sexual (Multiple agencies)

Know Your Rights

Know Your Rights: A Guide to Your Rights When Interacting with Law Enforcement (Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.)

Know Your Rights Card in Spanish (ACLU)

Appleseed Deportation Manual

Protecting Assets and Child Custody in the Face of Deportation

 

Immigration Remedies for Survivors:

U Visa Immigration Relief for Victims of Certain Crimes (DHS)

VAWA Confidentiality Protections for Immigrant Crime Victims in the Context of Immigration Enforcement (NIWAP)

Introduction to Immigration Relief for Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault and Glossary of Terms (NIWAP and others)

 

Systems Advocacy Resources:

Enforcement

DHS Memo on Enforcement of the Immigration Laws to Serve the National Interest (DHS)

Fact Sheet: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States (DHS)

Joint Report from Attorneys General on Local Involvement In Federal Civil Immigration Enforcement (NY AG Office)

The Effects of Increased Entanglement between local police and immigration enforcement is a detrimement to DV/SA survivors (Multiple agencies)

Victim Protections

ICE Memo on Discretion for Certain Victims, Witnesses, and Plaintiffs (ICE)

Statement on DHS Removal of Identifying Victim Information on VINE (Multiple agencies)

Immigrant Rights Advocacy

Letter to the State Courts about Witnesses with Limited English Proficiency (DOJ)

Tri-Agency Joint Letter by HUD, HHS, and DOJ on Life and Safety Services (DOJ)

2017 Advocate and Legal Service Survey Regarding Immigrant Survivors (Multiple agencies)

The Effects of Sanctuary Policies on Crime and the Economy (NILC)

Factsheet on Effects of Sanctuary Cities on Crime Rates (AIC)

 

Useful websites with additional information:

In alphabetical order, below are some trusted sources for immigration resources, from know your rights to legal defense/advocate updates.

American Immigration Council

Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-based Violence

ASISTA Immigration Assistance

Battered Women's Justice Project (BWJP)

Futures Without Violence

ICE’s Online Detainee Locator

Immi (developed by Immigration Advocates Network and ProbonoNet)

Immigrant Defense Project

Immigrant Legal Resource Center

Immigration Impact

Informed Immigrant

NIWAP (National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project)National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project)

Tahirih Justice Center

We Belong Together