[Congressional Record: February 28, 2002 (Extensions)]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
BATTERED IMMIGRANT FAMILY RELIEF ACT
HON. JANICE D. SCHAKOWSKY
in the house of representatives
Thursday, February 28, 2002
Mr. SCHAKOWSKY. Mr. Speaker, today I am introducing the Battered
Immigrant Family Relief Act.
Violence against women is a profound and extremely pervasive problem,
striking across economic, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and across
all age groups. It is an epidemic that affects not only women, but
children and families as well.
We, in Congress, should be proud that we were able to reauthorize the
Violence Against Women Act last session. I was particularly pleased
with the inclusion of critical provisions of relief to battered
immigrant women that came from my bill, H.R. 3083, the Battered
Immigrant Women Protection Act. However, there are still important
groups that were left out of last year's negotiations. That is why this
legislation is so critical.
There are still battered immigrants, like asylees and the elderly,
who are forced to remain in abusive relationships, unable to appeal for
protection from law enforcement and the courts for fear of deportation.
The Battered Immigrant Family Relief Act will allow them to safely
escape their abusers without fear of deportation or other negative
immigration consequences. This legislation would also provide a safety
net for battered legal immigrants and their children by allowing them
access to health insurance, food, and other benefits required to escape
their abuser and gain economic self-sufficiency. We can no longer allow
immigration status to be used as a tool of control in abusive
I urge my colleagues to support this effort and this bill. While
there is still even one women out there who endures violence, our work
will not be complete.
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