Cherokee Family Violence Center Multicultural Program. Pilar Sarmiento

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1 Cherokee Family Violence Center Multicultural Program Pilar Sarmiento 1

2 In 2003 CFVC Created the Multicultural Program to assist Immigrant victims of DV in Cherokee County, GA, with a particular emphasis within the Latino/Hispanic community. According to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau there were over 200,000 residents in Cherokee County, with over 20,000 identifying as Hispanic. This Represents a 167% increase from 2000 Census. Since 2005 CFVC has served families from 50 different countries of origin. In the last 12 months the Multicultural Program have served a total of 56 new immigrant clients from 18 different countries of origin. 2

3 3 Bilingual Advocates/ 6 Hotline BilingualAdvocates Statewide 24 hour Spanish Language Hotline Spanish Language Support Group Legal Advocacy Transitional Housing Program Section 8 Emergency Shelter 3

4 Transitional Housing Specific for clients applying for immigration relief: -rental assistance while adjusting immigration status funded by Office of Violence Against Women (OVW) -transportation assistance -childcare -Leadership classes BIA partially accredited staff. 4

5 The Board of Immigration Appeals ( BIA) is the highest administrative body for interpreting and applying immigration laws. It falls within the Department of Justice (DOJ). The BIA grants the recognition and accreditation process that allows non-attorneys to provide legal services. 5

6 Lack of understanding of U.S Laws Is domestic violence a crime? Can a husband rape his wife? Lack of Trust Law enforcement in many countries are corrupt or fail to protect victims of domestic violence Fear of deportation, being detained, or separation from children (often perpetuated by the abuser) 6

7 Cultural Barriers What if abusive spouse will get deported? Bringing in police to solve a family problem frowned upon Language Barrier Victim unable to communicate his/her side of the story Abusive spouse is often the only one who speaks English Lack of Immigration Documents. 7

8 T Visa VAWA Self-Petition U Visa 8

9 Are for victims of severe forms of human trafficking. This status allows victims of human trafficking to remain in the United States to assist in investigations or prosecutions of human trafficking violators. 9

10 It removes the abusive spouse from power of immigration status If granted the victim may be eligible to obtain Green Card Forgives illegally entering the United States Forgives falling out of status overstaying a visa May stop or delay deportation proceedings 10

11 As permanent legal resident Work permit & driver s license Can travel and re-enter the U.S. Can apply for citizenship after required time USCIS maintains confidentiality and does not need to be separated from abuser while petition is under consideration. Victim can apply no later than 2 years after divorce. 11

12 CREATED BY CONGRESS IN 2000 TO: -Increase prosecution of perpetrators of crimes against immigrant victims. -Increase immigrant victim crime reporting. -Minimize fear of deportation for immigrant victims of crime. -Enhance victim safety and keep communities safe. 12

13 Victim of qualifying crime. Has been, is being, or is likely to be helpful in detection, investigation, prosecution, conviction or sentencing Suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as result of the victimization. Possesses information about the crime. Crime occurred in the U.S. or violated a U.S law 13

14 Domestic violence Sexual assault Sexual exploitation Kidnapping Murder Rape Incest Stalking** Foreign Labor Contracting Fraud ** ** New in VAWA

15 USCIS Form I-198 Supplement B 3 pages total -Part 1: Victim information -Part 2: Agency information -Part 3: Criminal acts -Part 4: Helpfulness of the victim -Part 5: Family members implicated in criminal activity -Part 6: Certification 15

16 police officers prosecutors judges child protection officers immigration officials, or other state or federal authorities 16

17 1. Criminal activity occurs. 2. IF: The victim has been helpful, is being helpful, or is likely to be helpful to law enforcement THEN Victim (or legal representative) seeks Law Enforcement Certification. 17

18 3. Law Enforcement provides victims with: -Law Enforcement Certification signed in blue ink. -Any supporting documentation such as reports and findings. 18

19 Only 10,000 U visas can be granted annually. The U visa grants a temporary 4 year stay. Only some U visa holders will qualify for legal permanent residency or green card, no guarantee. U.S Citizenship can only be attained after legal permanent residency for 5 years + proof of good moral character. 19

20 Pilar Sarmiento Go to under the Humanitarian section on the home page, click on Victims of Human Trafficking & Other Crimes. 20

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