Working with Immigrant Women


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Immigrant women come from all walks of life, from those who have only been in the United States for a month to those who have been here for forty years. The immigrant woman who seeks assistance from you may have come to the United States as a refugee facing persecution in her home country. Many come as a relative with family members already living here, as a student, as a tourist, or as a worker seeking better working circumstances. Most of the time immigrant women find themselves with nothing after migrating to a new country. They seek shelter but sometimes shelters are considered with the legal troubles and cost for supporting battered immigrant women, especially unauthorized immigrants.


When trying to find shelter a problem arises, when immigrant women are denied seeking help from the incorrect assumptions that it is illegal to provide services for an immigrant. This is false as Non-profit organizations are explicitly exempt from requiring clients to verify their immigration status before delivering services. Furthermore, any non-profit or government domestic violence services program or shelter that refuses to help undocumented immigrants is breaking the Attorney General's order. Which requires that services "necessary for the protection of life and safety" be provided regardless of immigration status, as well as civil rights and fair housing laws. The fact that a woman is not a U.S. citizen or lawful resident should have no bearing on your capacity to help her. Her immigration status is only relevant if it's necessary to know if it could protect her from abuse by letting you know what hazards she might be exposed to and assisting her in becoming a permanent resident if she qualifies.


To help a battered immigrant woman, you don't need to be an expert in immigration law to assist. As an advocate, anyone's job is to empower her by educating her about her alternatives and assisting her in obtaining the support she requires. However, if you believe the victim's immigration status is in doubt, you should consult an immigration lawyer. When newly arrived battered immigrant women with specific needs file for immigration status, it could take a long process to retain a permanent resident if there are additional factors that play into the woman's request when it's dealing with issues such as domestic violence.


The women batterers frequently use and manage their unresolved immigration status in order to keep them in abusive relationships. Domestic violence and immigration status collide for some women in a complicated way. Domestic abuse may have limited their ability to live lawfully and permanently in the United States. Our role in helping these women is to educate them about available options, aid battered immigrant women in obtaining them, and respect their decisions. It is up to the immigrant woman to choose whether to stay in the United States or return to her home country after assisting with help and information.



Here at Mil Mujeres, we offer help and resources for women seeking to find asylum. Mil Mujeres specializes in immigration benefits for survivors of violent crimes. Gender-related crimes such as domestic violence, sexual assault, felonious assault, and human trafficking are some main focuses at Mil Mujeres. When the need arises for women, Mil Mujeres is here to offer immigration legal services to low-income individuals in the Latino community.