Urge Your Senators to Safeguard Protections for Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault.
The Senate has begun considering legislation that will reform the nation’s immigration laws and systems. As they begin debate this week, they need to hear from you that any final Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) bill must safeguard and enhance protections for immigrant survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other forms of abuse. There are as many as 1,000 proposed amendments and we need to make sure that the Senate stands firm for immigrant women and opposes amendments that intend to undermine or derail all our work to prevent and treat domestic violence and sexual assault in the immigrant community.
Abusive partners and opportunistic predators often exploit a victim’s lack of immigration status, or dependent immigration status, as a way to maintain power and control and to keep victims silent. Many immigrant women are particularly vulnerable to abusive or exploitative situations in their homes and workplaces due to their lack of immigration status. Unfortunately, despite current provisions of US immigration law intended to reduce these vulnerabilities, many obstacles to immigrant survivors’ access to safety and justice still remain. The time is NOW to make your voices heard on CIR in the Senate!
ACTION ITEM 1): CONTACT YOUR SENATORS AND TELL THEM THAT CIR MUST PROTECT AND SUPPORT THE NEEDS OF VICTIMS
When you call, be sure to ask to speak to the staff person who handles immigration legislation and say:
- I am a constituent from [city and state] and my name is _________.
- I urge Senator [insert name] to Support S. 744 and Comprehensive Immigration Reform, because having immigration status helps bring victims out from the shadows and helps to prevent further victimization and exploitation. I also ask the Senator to support provisions in S. 744 that strengthen protections for immigrant survivors of domestic and sexual violence and human trafficking, and to reject any amendments that discourage victims from accessing law enforcement for help or that leave immigrant victims with no access to safety net benefits that help them recover from and escape abuse.
- Thank the staffer for their time.
ACTION ITEM 2): TWEET THESE MESSAGES TO YOUR SENATORS!
- [Insert Senator’s Twitter handle] Support a #CIR that enhances protections for immigrant victims of domestic violence & sexual assault
- [Insert Senator’s Twitter handle] Bring victims out of the shadows & help them find safety. Support #CIR & S.744
- Abusers can exploit victims’ lack of immigration status to maintain power & control. The Senate must support #CIR to enhance victim safety!
- #CIR must make it safe for victims to seek help from law enforcement & must be responsive to victims’ needs
- [Insert Senator’s Twitter handle] Safety net benefits help victims escape & recover from abuse. Support #CIR & S. 744.
ACTION ITEM 3): WATCH THIS SPACE!
Stay tuned for more action alerts and ways you can make your voice heard on other important issues related to sexual and domestic violence, including funding for programs and services, gun safety/background checks and sexual assault in the military legislation.
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