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

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.

Advisory Revised Oct 2018: How Will ‘Public Charge’ Proposed Policy Changes Impact Immigrant Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault?

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is planning to propose regulations that discard longstanding policy about the meaning and application of the “public charge” provisions of immigration law. Proposed policies will have a significant detrimental impact on survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault by deterring immigrant families, including those with U.S.-citizen children, from seeking help when they need it. Safety net benefits can help victims recover and escape from abuse and play a significant role in preventing future harm.

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.

Immigrants in the Child Welfare System, 2018

By ABA Center on Children and the Law, this resource provides guidance on how to navigate seven different scenarios in which children and their families may benefit from support services but face intersecting immigration and child welfare legal needs.

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