Many batterers use the immigration status of their partners as another way to control them. Abuse may come in the following forms:
Many victims of domestic violence are afraid to report or leave their abuser because they are "undocumented". Although the threat of deportation is real, your safety is most important.
Although your immigration status may present certain risks, you still have many rights.
If you are not a permanent resident and are married or formerly married to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident or are applying for residency through a spouse, contact an immigration attorney. Your immigration status could be jeopardized by a divorce or separation. An annulment, dissolution, or divorce could terminate your immigration status.
If you have already received a conditional residence permit and you are a victim of battery or extreme cruelty, you do not need the cooperation of your spouse to change the conditional status to "permanent resident".
Texas Legal Aid Offices
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 allows for victims of trafficking to be eligible for legal services without regard to their immigration status. Legal Aid agencies can use Legal Services Corporation (LSC) funds to provide legal services, including assistance with the certification and T Visa application process to victims of trafficking. Therefore legal aids offices throughout Texas are permitted to serve these victims without having to charge funding streams other than LSC.
The decision to take a case representing a trafficking victim is dependent on each office’s method of prioritizing cases and the office's capacity to take such a case. The following information includes the office location and website of the local Legal Aid agency in El Paso, Texas: Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid.
The Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Service office assists clients who are crime victims to apply for a U Visa. The Elderly & Domestic Violence Prevention Unit provides confirmation that those applying are “identified as victims of crime”. The statute helps law enforcement agencies serve immigrant communities by providing safety to undocumented victims who otherwise might be deported if they reported the perpetrators.
Please call the Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Service office in El Paso, Texas at 532-3975.