Immigration Violence Against Women Act

The Radical Agenda Being Pursued Under the Violence Against Women Act

The Tahirih Justice Center joined more than 400 immigrant justice organizations and ally groups to express our solidarity with Black communities. Read the full text of the letter below:


Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. Tony McDade. George Floyd. Yassin Mohamed. Finan Berhe. Across the country, people of conscience are saying ‘Black Lives Matter!’ ‘Enough is Enough!’ in our grief and rage. From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin to Rodney King, Latasha Harlins to Sandra Bland, we bear witness to the injustice, to the pain and rage of our Black brothers and sisters. For too long, we have lived within a system that perpetuates institutional and direct violence against Black people. We reject this anti-Black violence and demand justice.

White supremacist institutions and the historical criminalization and over-policing of Black communities have led to heavily militarized police forces and a system that uses prison beds as a form of punishment and social control but denies people an opportunity, a job, an education, healthcare, or equal access to thrive. These are the same systems that enable the for-profit incarceration of humans, and trigger discrimination against Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

Historically we have repeatedly seen massive transfers of wealth from communities of color to corporations. In the midst of a global health pandemic, this racialized inequality has only increased – corporations have been given billions of dollars while millions of Americans are not able to have their basic health care and economic needs met. Communities of color are left struggling to pay for food and rent, and in the case of many immigrants, excluded from federal relief packages altogether.

When asked to do more for Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities, state and local governments claim budget shortfalls. Yet they either maintain or increase inflated and unnecessary police budgets. We know that support systems, services, quality housing, and dignified jobs are what keeps our communities safe, not law enforcement. The recent violence directed at protestors has shown that the police state values property over the lives of people they’ve sworn to serve.

In order for resources to be brought back to communities, governments at all levels must divest from harmful institutions such as the prison industrial complex, surveillance, and policing. We call on governments to instead invest these funds in basic needs like quality housing and education, financial and economic support, climate justice, healthcare for all, and mental health support.

As immigrant justice organizations and ally organizations, we commit to:

  • Standing in solidarity with Black communities to demand justice by advocating for their recommendations and solutions.
  • Working to dismantle white supremacy, white nationalism, and the anti-Blackness that permeates our society, including within the immigrant justice movement.
  • Joining the calls to dismantle the police state by defunding and decreasing police budgets.
  • Demanding governments invest in communities by increasing funding for housing, education, healthcare, and other supports.
  • Demanding a COVID-19 recovery and reconstruction that benefits communities, not corporations.
  • Denouncing the use of criminalization and militarization as a response to people’s pain and people demanding more change.
  • Rejecting the “national security” frame and redefining “public safety” so that it truly means communities — including Black communities — are free to live without fear of being killed.

Just as COVID-19 has taught us that we are interconnected, our collective well-being depends on all of us being healthy and safe, not criminalized and dehumanized. We grieve with our Black neighbors and are committed to building a country where Black Lives Matter.

Click here to for the full list Immigrant Justice Organizations and Ally Organizations who signed on.


Bills Civil Rights Domestic Violence False Allegations Immigration Press Release Sexual Assault Violence Violence Against Women Act

PR: SAVE Calls on Lawmakers to Stand Tall for Victims and the Constitution during Upcoming VAWA Vote


Contact: Teri Stoddard
Telephone: 301-801-0608

SAVE Calls on Lawmakers to Stand Tall for Victims and the Constitution during Upcoming VAWA Vote

Washington, DC/May 15, 2012 – A leading victim-advocacy organization is calling on Representatives to support reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, H.R. 4970. Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE) says H.R. 4970 will best help victims of partner abuse and safeguard Constitutional protections.

SAVE urges lawmakers to resist attempts to expand definitions of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault. Overly-broad definitions encourage false allegations of abuse and make it harder for true victims to be heard.

Since its passage in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has sparked controversy. The ACLU once termed VAWA’s mandatory arrest provisions “repugnant” to the Constitution, and in 2000 the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a VAWA provision designed to provide a federal civil remedy for sex assault cases.

One area of particular controversy centers on VAWA’s immigration provisions, which allow a foreign national to claim to be a domestic violence victim without provision of evidence. Under current law, the accused person is deprived of key due process protections and is barred from submitting evidence of immigration fraud. One civil rights expert termed such provisions “Kafka-esque.” (

Last year the Senate Judiciary Committee invited testimony from Julie Poner, who was a victim of false allegations made by her former husband from the Czech Republic. Saying she had “suffered unimaginable consequences,” Poner lamented the countless men and women “who have lost access to their children, their homes, their jobs, and in some cases their freedom because of false allegations of abuse.” (

“Our nation was founded on due process protections such as the right of the accused to be advised of the charges, to confront his accuser, and to be afforded the opportunity to refute the accusations,” notes SAVE spokesman Philip Cook. “But under the existing VAWA, the accused is stripped of these Constitutional protections, affording more rights to the accuser than to the American citizen. This is a slap in the face to notions of justice and fairness.”

Stop Abusive and Violent Environments is a victim-advocacy organization working for evidence-based solutions to partner violence: