Today, Congressman Rubén Hinojosa voted against H.R. 4970, the House GOP Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization bill stating on the U.S. House of Representatives it weakens the law and will cause more harm to women.
"This Republican led legislation shifts the power into the hands of the abuser and moves away from long-standing bipartisanship on this very important issue," said U.S. Rep. Hinojosa. "The Cantor/Adams VAWA reauthorization bill, will roll back protections for battered immigrant women, Tribal victims, college students and LGBT victims. I will never support this."
Amendments to the bill include rolling back the "U" visa protections which will deny protection to immigrant victims of serious crime. It also takes a critical law enforcement tool away from law enforcement and prosecutors.
The Cantor/Adams bill marks the first time that a major VAWA bill was drafted without input from the service providers, law enforcement agencies and prosecutors on the front lines. The result of this hasty, partisan process is a bill that misunderstands immigration law and almost seems designed to delay or deny protection to many vulnerable victims. The Cantor/Adams bill would create an even more dangerous environment for immigrant women, by allowing abusers to use status as a mode of manipulation, denying victims the ability to apply for a green card and by harshly punishing victims who may make paperwork errors due to language difficulty.
More than 300 organizations oppose the House GOP bill, including such groups as the U.S. Conference of Mayors, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, National Network to End Domestic Violence, National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, Break the Cycle, Legal Momentum, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, National Organization for Women, Feminist Majority, YWCA USA, AAUW, Business and Professional Women's Foundation, National Women's Law Center, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, American Bar Association, NAACP, National Council of La Raza, Human Rights Campaign, United Church of Christ, United Methodist Church, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, and National Congress of American Indians.
The National Association of Evangelicals and the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service are opposed to the immigrant provisions in the bill.