URGENT ACTION ALERT: Call your Senators to oppose Vitter 1330
Posted on: 06.20.13
Background: We all know that domestic violence can be complicated and that when it comes to what DV policy should be adopted, victims’ voices trump. Immigrant victims and survivors have told us that they, like every other DV victim, want help and system interventions—but also like every other DV victim—interventions that actually work for them! Vitter 1330 does not work for victims.
TAKE THIS ACTION TODAY:
- Call Senator Saxby Chambliss (202-224-3521) and Senator Johnny Isakson (202-224-3643)
- When you get your Senator’s office ask for “the immigration staffer” (give them know your name, your organization’s name, and describe who your membership is)
- Tell the staffer that you want the Senator to vote NO on Vitter Amendment 1330 because it will harm vulnerable immigrant victims of domestic violence.
The Vitter Amendment would disqualify for Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) status anyone who has a single misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence or for child abuse and neglect without any waivers. As advocates for domestic violence survivors, this amendment raises several significant concerns, including:
- Without waivers, victims and their children will likely be penalized for seeking law enforcement interventions in domestic violence cases if there are no opportunities to take into consideration individual circumstances (ie the immigrant is the only source of medical insurance for the family where there is a chronically sick child, or the domestic violence conviction was a single incident that took place 2 decades ago, the immigrant is the sole source of income for the family, etc.)
- Immigrant survivors could themselves be swept into the amendment. Immigrant survivors are particularly vulnerable to being arrested and prosecuted for domestic violence, due to language and cultural barriers that prevent them from explaining that they acted in self-defense or that an abuser’s allegations are false. Victims of domestic violence generally are also vulnerable to child neglect charges and prosecutions alleging they have “failed to protect” their children from an abuser.
- This Amendment Will Discourage Victims from Reporting Crimes by creating a chilling effect on seeking help from law enforcement or the legal system. This decrease in crime reporting will lead to communities that are less safe and in which victims are more isolated.
- This Amendment creates an impossibly high bar for immigrant survivors, who often face language and cultural barriers, to meet to prove that they are innocent, a victim of the offense or no offense occurred in order to seek an exception to the provisions.
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