Immigrant Issues Impacting
Older Adults
Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office
Victim Witness Services Unit
HIAS Pennsylvania
Domestic Violence Project
10/7/2015
1
Speaker Information
Matthew Chea
Victim/Witness Coordinator
South Bureau Division/
Southeast Asian Project
Victim/Witness Unit
Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office
215-686-8034
[email protected]
10/7/2015
2
Speaker Information
Lisa Hurlbutt, Staff Attorney
Domestic Violence Project
HIAS Pennsylvania
215-832-0900
[email protected]
10/7/2015
3
What is immigration?
Immigration is the movement
of people from one country
or region to another in order
to make a new home.
10/7/2015
4
Immigrants come into the U.S.
for many reasons:
Unjust
social structure
Civil war
Poverty
Political persecution
Family violence
10/7/2015
5
Immigrant Victims
Immigrant victims have unique
needs and concerns that
distinguish them from
nonimmigrant victims.
10/7/2015
6
Immigrant Victims
Victim service providers need to be aware of the
following issues when working with immigrant
victims:
 Victimization
is often connected to immigration
status and culture; and
 Immigration status and culture may prevent
victims from seeking protection.
10/7/2015
7
Victimization is often connected to
immigration status and culture

In a family violence context:
 Victim fears the criminal justice process because assailant
knows his/her status;
 Abuser controls victim by threatening deportation, and/or
refusing to follow through with immigration applications;
 Documented abuser commits economic abuse through his/her
ability to work lawfully as undocumented victim cannot work
or access public benefits;
 Abuser obstructs newer arrival victim’s orientation to the USA
and ability to make community connections (i.e. Abuser is the
only connection to the community due to language);
 Abuser justifies abuse based on cultural assumptions (i.e.
gender roles)
10/7/2015
8
Immigration status and culture
may prevent victims from seeking
protection
Fear of authorities or deportation;
 Lack of understanding of legal system;
 Reliance on abuser for economic support and
housing; and/or
 Pressure on the victim not to seek help outside
the community to preserve the family unit.

10/7/2015
9
Common concerns for
victims/witnesses involved in the
criminal justice system









10/7/2015
Immigration concerns
Language barriers
Lack of understanding of legal system and existence of services
Fear of government and law enforcement
Fear of retaliation
Cultural barriers
Culture of shame
Educational materials available only in English
Translation issues
10
Culturally competent
communication











Rapport building
Use of titles
Eye contact
Facial expressions
Tone of voice
Body language/posture/distance
Preferences regarding directness/indirectness
Acceptable ways to get more information/ask for clarification
Acceptable ways to make/grant/deny requests
Acceptable/unacceptable emotions to express
Acceptable ways to express emotions
10/7/2015
11
Other cultural considerations







Relationships to others (i.e., individualistic vs. collectivistic, or
community-oriented)
Family structures (i.e., hierarchies, or expectations between
family members)
Relationships to authority
Concepts of justice
Ideas of privacy
Taboo subjects
Accepted/preferred communication practices (i.e. greetings and
introductions)
10/7/2015
12
Language/Interpreter issues

Use a qualified, competent interpreter :

PA Supreme Court Interpreter Program
http://www.pacourts.us/T/AOPC/
CourtInterpreterProg/InterpreterRoster.htm


Make sure that client is comfortable with his/her
interpreter (i.e. Female clients may prefer to discuss
sensitive issues with a female interpreter)
Check for conflicts, particularly if the client is from a
small immigrant community
10/7/2015
13
Language/Interpreter issues
example 1

A robber burglarized a home of an elderly Chinese woman,
bound her, and placed her feet into two glass jars to immobilize
her. After the robber escaped with the stolen items, the victim
broke the jars and called her children to report the crime. The
victim’s children then called police. The victim spoke a rare
dialect and the court had to hire an special interpreter from NYC
to assist her.
10/7/2015
14
Language/Interpreter issues
example 2

An elderly theft victim came to court with his son, who spoke
English. The son stated that his father needed a Cantonese
interpreter. The interpreter came and stated that the victim
preferred another language. Although the victim was ethnically
Chinese, he was born in Cambodia, spoke several different
languages, and he was more comfortable with Cambodian.
10/7/2015
15
Types of Immigration Status





U.S. Citizen (USC)
Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR)
Nonimmigrant (e.g. visitor, student)
Other
Undocumented



Entered without inspection (EWI) or fraudulently
Overstayed time authorized by visa
Violated conditions of visa/visa revoked
10/7/2015
16
How Do You Become a
Permanent Resident?




Family Petitions
Employment Petitions
Diversity Lottery Visa
Humanitarian Petitions


Including options for domestic violence and crime
victims
Other ways
10/7/2015
17
Removal Proceedings
Removal proceedings are to decide if a
foreign national should be deported from
the U.S.



Who could be put in removal proceedings?
What is the process?
How do you avoid removal?
10/7/2015
18
U.S. Immigration System Structure
Department of
Justice
Department
of
Homeland
Security
Department of
State
Federal Courts
National Visa
Center
U.S. embassies /
consulates abroad
Executive Office for
Immigration Review
U.S.
Citizenship
and
Immigration
Services
(USCIS)
10/7/2015
U.S.
Customs
and
Border
Protection
(CBP)
U.S.
Immigration
and
Customs
Enforcement
(ICE)
Board of
Immigration Appeals
Immigration
Court
19
Immigration Protections for non-citizen
victims of interpersonal violence







10/7/2015
I-360 Self Petition for battered spouse/child/parent of
USC or LPR *
I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence (get 10
yr card) based on divorce or extreme cruelty/battery
U Visa for victims of crime in the U.S. *
T Visa for victims of trafficking
VAWA-based Cancellation of Removal
Gender – based asylum
Special Immigrant Juvenile Petition
20
VAWA Self Petition

Available to:



Abused spouse of USC or LPR in a good faith marriage
Abused child under 21 (in some cases 25) of USC or LPR
Abused parent of USC age 21 or older

Must file with TWO YEARS of divorce, death, or
abuser loss of status due to domestic violence

Leads to permanent status without abuser participation
10/7/2015
21
U Visas


Available for victims of certain crimes who
cooperate with law enforcement
Crimes include:



“domestic violence,” aggravated assault, sexual
assault/rape, unlawful restraint/false imprisonment,
blackmail/extortion, more
Must have suffered “substantial abuse” due to
crime
Status lasts 4 years, must apply for permanent
residence after 3 years
10/7/2015
22
Confidential Process




The law protects the confidentiality of all
VAWA and U visa petitions
Immigration may not rely on negative evidence
provided by the abuser
Immigration may not disclose the existence or
contents of this application
No requirement that the victim leave the
relationship or household
10/7/2015
23
What Could Be a Problem
for VAWA or U Visas?
Red Flags
Do not assume clients are not eligible
Many special waivers and exceptions exist
Always consult with an expert before filing!!
10/7/2015
24
Talking to Victims About
Immigration




Issue can be sensitive and frightening
If possible broach the subject once rapport is
established
If you ask once the case is opened, explain why
you are asking (determining possible relief)
Do not assume anything about immigration
status
10/7/2015
25
How Can I Help With Victims’
Immigration Issues?


Consider whether your clients may be eligible
for immigration relief
Refer clients to REPUTABLE immigration
service providers


HIAS, Nationalities Service Center, Esperanza, for
e.g.
Help clients collect documents and other
evidence to support their applications, explain to
them attorney’s role
10/7/2015
26
Should your non-citizen clients
have police contact?









It depends…
Police in Philadelphia are not supposed to ask about victim’s
immigration status
In court, victims can be asked about immigration status by
defense attorneys
Any police contact can result in client being placed in removal
(deportation) proceedings
If possible, have client consult with immigration legal
representative prior to calling police
If client is in immediate danger, advise to call police
Advocate for meaningful language access
Help your clients know their rights
Police contact can sometimes create a path to legal immigration
status through a U or T visa
10/7/2015
27
Fatou’s Case
“Fatou” is originally from Morocco. Her native language is Arabic, but she also speaks
French. She is illiterate. She is 65 years old and lives with her son – a US Citizen –his
pregnant wife, and their three children. She came to the United States originally as a
visitor in 2010 with a six-month authorized stay. She planned to return to Morocco
after three months. However, her health began to deteriorate, making travel difficult,
and she decided to stay to access health care here and to help her son and his wife
with child care. She lacks health insurance.
In the last several months, Fatou’s son has become stressed and upset about the cost
of supporting his mother along with his growing family. He won’t take her to her
medical appointments or help her with her medical bills. During a recent argument,
her son pushed her and grabbed her by the arms, leaving marks. He has also
threatened to hit her, waving his fists around her head. He threatens to have her
deported if she tells anyone or calls the police. He insists that he does not have the
money to sponsor her for immigration status.
What concerns might Fatou have about seeking protection from the police or
courts? What immigration options might she have?
10/7/2015
28
Descargar

VAWA Pro Bono Training