NTF letter supporting Executive Action for immigrant survivors

December 9, 2014

Dear Senator,

The Steering Committee of the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence (“NTF”), comprised of national leadership organizations advocating on behalf of sexual and domestic violence victims and women’s rights, writes in support of President Obama’s Executive action to defer the removal of the parents of U.S. Citizen and Legal Permanent Resident children, and to expand the deferred action program for non-citizens who entered the United States as children. These Executive actions offer a needed opportunity to remove obstacles to immigrant survivors’ access to safety and justice, by reducing their vulnerabilities to abuse and exploitation due to fear of deportation.

This fall we are celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”), which has, since it was first enacted, included critical protections for immigrant victims of domestic and sexual violence. Over the last two decades, victims have benefited from executive action deferring removal in cases involving victims protected by VAWA. Executive actions under both Republican and Democratic administrations have enhanced their safety and ability to recover from abuse. These include protections for spouses and children of abusive U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents, with approved petitions under the Violence Against Women Act, who are awaiting the availability of immigrant visas. In addition, non-citizens eligible for crime-victim visas based on certification from criminal legal system officials have benefited from executive branch deferral from removal, enhancing victims’ ability to participate in holding offenders accountable. For these reasons, we support the authority of the Executive branch to defer the removal of classes of very vulnerable non-citizens.

We strongly urge members to prioritize the needs of immigrant survivors of domestic and sexual violence, stalking, trafficking, and child abuse and support President Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents, and expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us for further information through Grace Huang atgrace@wscadv.org, or (206) 389-2515 x 209.

Sincerely,

The member organizations of
The National Taskforce to End Sexual and Domestic Violence
www.4vawa.org