Padilla Statement on Violence Against Women Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, released the following statement on the introduction of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2022.

“I’m proud to support the long-overdue reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which provides critical protections and support for survivors of intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. Stopping these horrific crimes is a bipartisan priority, and I’m grateful for the coalition of senators, survivors, and advocates leading the way on this bill.

“However, I am concerned that this is the first version of VAWA since its enactment that does not include any new protections for survivors who lack permanent legal status in the US. Many abusers control or threaten their victims’ immigration statuses to prevent them from reporting crimes. Non-citizen survivors can be deported before their immigration cases are heard and many are stuck in visa backlogs for years, making it difficult for them to work and receive the services and support they need to overcome the trauma they have experienced. I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure that we support and safeguard protections for all survivors, regardless of their immigration status.”