From the Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition (http://www.paimmigrant.org):
The Violence Against Women Act offers critical protections for immigrants and other survivors of domestic violence. The current law passed in 1994 and has been reauthorized twice since. Since abusers often exploit undocumented victims’ lack of immigration status, the law allows survivors to leave their abusers without suffering immigration consequences and ultimately to petition for status on their own. It is time for Congress to reauthorize VAWA, and while the Senate passed a good bill that expands protections for victims, the House’s HR 4970 – which passed on Wednesday, May 16 by a 222-205 margin – is unacceptable. The House version would remove confidentiality protections for immigrant survivors, deny them the opportunity to gain lawful permanent residence, and increase the requirements for their visa applications. HR 4970 will put immigrant women and their children in grave danger.
Please contact your Representative today at http://statevoices.salsalabs.com/o/11/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=337 and express your support or disappointment in their vote on HR 4970. The Senate and House versions of VAWA will now go to conference committee. Ask your Representative to support a final version that retains the strongest possible protections for immigrants and other victims of domestic violence.