Immigration Policies & Remedies Affecting Survivors

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The Alliance for Immigrant Survivors (AIS), co-chaired by the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence, ASISTA Immigration Assistance, Casa de Esperanza: National Latin@ Network, and Tahirih Justice Center, is a network of advocates and allies across the country dedicated to defending and advocating for policies that ensure immigrant survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking, and other gender-based abuses have access to life-saving protections that all survivors of violence deserve.

Visit AIS for:

  • The latest on immigration policy affecting immigrant survivor, and ways to take action
  • Resources for advocates and service providers
  • Ongoing trainings such as webinars

Materials on this topic have been developed with private foundation grants, unless otherwise indicated. 

Related Resources

Advisory Revised Aug 2019: How Will ‘Public Charge’ Proposed Policy Changes Impact Immigrant Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault?

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a final rule, published in the Federal Register on August 14, 2019, which significantly changes longstanding policy about the meaning and application of the “public charge” inadmissibility provisions of immigration law. According to DHS, this is to ensure that non-citizens “who are admitted to the United States, seek extension of stay or change of status, or apply for adjustment of status will be self-sufficient, i.e., will rely on their financial resources, as well as the financial resources of the family, sponsors, and private organizations.”

Advisory: How Do Recent HUD Proposed Rules About Verification of Immigration Status Impact Survivors of Domestic & Sexual Assault?

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) proposed regulations that change longstanding policy relating to immigration status verification requirements and disallowing those ineligible for federal housing assistance (i.e., members of “mixed-status” households) from residing in HUD’s public and specified assisted housing programs. This advisory describes impacts of the proposed rule on immigrant survivors of violence

May 2019 Advocate & Legal Services Findings: Immigrant Survivors Fear Reporting Violence

In May 2019, a coalition of national organizations gathered feedback from nearly six hundred advocates and attorneys from across the United States, learning that many immigrant victims of domestic and sexual violence are now too afraid to call the police or go to court to get help. The advocates report that survivors have an increased fear of deportation, retaliation by their abusers, and separation from their children.

Protecting Assets and Child Custody in the Face of Deportation, 2017

This manual from Appleseed Network is designed for immigrants and those who work with them; the host of attorneys, nurses, social workers, religious workers who are stepping up in challenging times. Appleseed’s manual will help families develop plans in advance to deal with critical financial and family issues in the event of deportation, arrest and other family emergencies.

Other Resources

Find immigration legal services:

American Immigration Lawyers Association: a national association promoting justice, advocating for fair and reasonable immigration and policy, and advancing the quality of immigration and nationality law and policy

ASISTA Help: provides national leadership, advocacy, training, and technical assistance to those working with crime survivors seeking to secure immigration status, especially those who have suffered gender-based violence

California Immigrant Policy Center: promotes and protects safety, health and public benefits and integration programs for immigrants in California, effectively combining legislative and policy advocacy, strategic communications, organizing and capacity building. Its resources include the Looking Forward: Immigrant Contributions to the Golden State series and Know Your Rights palm cards in many languages.

Informed Immigrant: Resources 101: Important Info for Immigrants & Allies provides curated information on advocacy campaigns, mental health, immigrant rights, and more.

National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Program: educates, trains, offers technical assistance and public policy advocacy, and conducts research to assist professionals who work with and/or whose work affects immigrant women and children. Also maintains an extensive web library on immigration, confidentiality, and other topics

National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild: promotes justice and equality of treatment in all areas of immigration law, the criminal justice system, and social policies related to immigration through technical assistance and support to legal practitioners, immigrant communities, community-based organizations, and all advocates seeking to advance the rights of noncitizens

Tahirih Justice Center: serves individuals fleeing violence and advocates for immigration reform that would increase protections for immigrant victims of domestic violence through direct services, policy advocacy, and training and education

VAWnet Special Collection on domestic violence in immigrant communities