NYWA Connect

URGENT ACTION ALERT - from D.V. Committee - Vote NO on Vitter 1330

To: vawaupdates@yahoogroups.com Subject: URGENT ALERT--VOTE NO on VITTER 1330

Please forward this to your networks!  This amendment will likely come up for a vote this afternoon. 

ACTION ALERT-Call your Senators TODAY

Call 888.269.5702  and ask the operator to connect you to your Senators' office.

You can also call the Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121 or find Senators' direct lines at www.senate.gov

Feel free to use this sample script:

"I am from [City, State] and I support immigration reform.  I urge the Senator to vote NO to Amendment 1330 sponsored by Senator Vitter as it will likely harm vulnerable immigrant domestic violence victims and discourage victims from reporting crimes committed against them."

If they have specific questions, below are talking points:

This 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 anexception to the provisions.

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