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[Congressional Record: February 28, 2002 (Extensions)]
[Page E234]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []



                       HON. JANICE D. SCHAKOWSKY

                              of illinois

                    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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