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SEMAH is an online conduit for resources to  help build bridges to safer communities especially those that are not well served. We have a special focus on the Muslim and inter-faith communities.

IMMIGRATION & DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

One of the most significant fears many battered immigrant women face  is related to their immigration status. The person who abuses may  attempt to control the partner by threatening deportation or withdrawal  of sponsorship. Some battered immigrant women may be reluctant to  discuss immigration status because they fear deportation for themselves, their children, or their batterer.

 

If a battered immigrant woman is deported, she may lose custody of  her children, may not be allowed to enter the country to see her  children, may return to poverty, famine, or political persecution, and  may no longer be able to financially assist her family in her home  country. She may be deported to a country whose laws do not protect her  from domestic violence. She may be ostracized by friends and family members because she got a divorce or sought a protection order against her abuser.

 

Many battered immigrant women who have legal immigration status do  not know that their batterer cannot take that status away. You should  know that if an immigrant woman is a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent  resident, or has a valid visa, she cannot be deported unless she entered the United States on fraudulent documents, violated conditions of her  visa, or has been convicted of certain crimes. If she does not have  legal status, she should know that law enforcement and domestic violence agencies do not ask about immigration status.