This webinar is a primer on immigration laws and regulations for advocates serving Asian survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. It provides a basic introduction to U.S. immigration law and the paths to citizenship, the remedies available to immigrant domestic violence or sexual assault survivors–particularly VAWA protections, battered spouse waivers, and U-Visas–and the rights that all immigrants have, and should know when encountering an ICE officer.
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.
By dint of their immigrant, refugee, and/or other historically marginalized identities, API survivors face barriers that are compounded by socio-cultural factors such as economics, immigration status, culture, religion, systems failure, homophobia, victim-blaming communities, and limited English proficiency. In the changing landscape of gender violence, unique dynamics, new trends, stringent barriers, and increased manipulation by batterers, API survivors face complex service barriers.