At the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WSCADV), we are working every day to create a world where all people can live and love freely without fear. The current erosion of immigrant protections, rights, and dignity is in direct conflict with our mission, Principles of Unity, and Theory of Change.
All families should be able to seek safety without fearing punishment. Overbroad immigration enforcement, policies that separate children from their parents, and the reversal of asylum eligibility for survivors, all further the marginalization of immigrant communities. When victims and their children have no viable place to turn for help, perpetrators of domestic and sexual violence are able to target victims with impunity. These actions make our communities less safe. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ ruling yesterday to stop granting asylum to most victims of domestic violence is the latest attempt to draw a line between ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ victims of violence. WSCADV rejects this distinction, and we oppose these actions. We choose all of us.
We want laws and policies that allow immigrants to feel safe to access community resources, discourage unfair racial targeting, and promote the safety and dignity of all people. We are grateful that VAWA protections and U and T visa relief for immigrants are still in place, and that the Washington State legislature nearly unanimously passed House Bill 1022 earlier this year to improve the consistency of law enforcement’s response to immigrant survivors of abuse.
We are also grateful for the incredible leadership of immigrant rights organizations, locally and nationally, leading the way in fighting these injustices, and to our Crossing Borders project partners, who are working every day with their immigrant and refugee neighbors in rural and urban communities across Washington.
- The National Immigrant Justice Center provides more detail on the Attorney General’s ruling and is working to identify next steps to protect the rights of asylum seekers.
- The Northwest Immigrant Rights Project has updates and information on the asylum seekers currently detained at the Federal Detention Center in SeaTac.