Fair Immigration Laws
Right now, America’s immigration system is inefficient and inhumane, and it’s harming courageous immigrants fleeing violence. Even minor improvements to the existing immigration law would empower immigrant victims to report domestic violence, end abusive relationships, and rebuild their lives in safety. At Tahirih, we specifically advocate for immigration reform that would:
- Increase the number of U visas available each year for immigrant victims who assist in the investigation or prosecution of designated crimes and violations. The U visa is a carefully crafted tool to reduce crime and protect individuals who cooperate with police to put criminals behind bars. But only 10,000 U visas are available per year, leaving too many victims without the tools they need to start over in safety.
- Enable victims with pending VAWA petitions and U and T visa applications to receive work authorization no later than 180 days after their application was filed. Right now, applicants can wait more than a year and half for the adjudication of cases, which undermines their ability to achieve economic stability.
- Eliminate the one-year filing deadline for asylum cases. Women fleeing gender-based violence often don’t know about the deadline, or may be unaware that they are eligible for asylum.
- Separate the public safety mandate of local law enforcement from the federal mandate to enforce immigration law. Fear of immigration consequences should never stop an immigrant woman and girl from seeking help in the wake of a crime.