Intertwining of VAWA & Immigration Reform

This last week, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), was passed with a vote of 78-22 on the Senate level.  This shows a strong bipartisan support, at least at the Senate level.  This bill was created to strengthen protections for all victims of sexual and domestic violence, mainly Native Americans, LGBT and immigrant survivors of violence.  The bill was introduced by Representative Moore (D-WI), Senator Reid (D-NV) and Senator Leahy (D-VT) on January 22, 2013 with bi-partisan support.  Then on February 4, 2013 the Senate voted to move forward with the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) with an overwhelming majority vote of 85 (for the bill) and 8 (against the bill).

The significance of this bill passing with such an overwhelming bipartisan support is that it could be the way Congress will vote once a comprehensive immigration bill is presented to Congress.  The next step for the bill is a vote at the House of Representatives.  This next step is the most important for the bill and harder battle, due to the fact that VAWA was stalled there last year.  Therefore, this next step will also be followed by groups that are currently working on different comprehensive immigration proposals.

VAWA was first signed by President Bill Clinton on September 13, 1994.  The Act makes support available toward investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women; imposes automatic and mandatory restitution on those convicted; and allows civil redress in cases prosecutors chose to leave unprosecuted.  The biggest dilemmas for some Republicans were the provisions permitting battered undocumented immigrants to claim temporary visas.  Some Republicans say the bill under the cloak of battered women, expands immigration avenues by creating new definitions for immigrant victims to claim battery.

If you or a loved has been a victim of domestic violence please contact the experienced family law attorneys of Dallas at M&A Law Firm to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION. We will help you understand your rights and guide you towards the right direction. Call us at 1.866.789.1664 or 972.789.1664, or email us at to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION.



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