CASA provides free legal services to some immigrants that have been victims of domestic violence or other qualifying crimes in the U.S.
Immigrants are particularly vulnerable to abuse and exploitation, and they face unique problems in gaining protection from violence. Threats of deportation often prevent victims from reporting abuse or exploitation, and domestic violence poses particular challenges for immigrants whose legal status depends on an abusive U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident spouse. To counteract these challenges and encourage immigrants seek help and report their victimization, federal law provides specific protections for victims of violence through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA):
If the battered victim is a spouse or child of an abusive U.S. Citizen or lawful permanent resident, he/she may be eligible to acquired lawful permanent status in the U.S. through the Violence Against Women Act (known as “VAWA”).
The self-petitioning process enables a battered spouse or child of an abusive U.S. citizen or permanent resident to apply for legal status without the knowledge of the abuser. Through this process, the self-petitioner may receive employment authorization and access public benefits.
The U visa is a nonimmigrant visa which is set aside for victims of crimes (and their immediate family members) who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse and are willing to assist law enforcement and government officials in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity.
CASA’s attorneys provide legal counseling, representation, and referrals, and work closely with CVAC (The Coordinated Victims Assistance Center) and other partner agencies to provide comprehensive assistance.
To learn more about these programs, make an appointment, or inquire about eligibility, please call our office at 305-463-7468 Ext 101.
Victims of Domestic violence can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline 24 hours a day at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE).