House Adds Phillips Provision to Protect Vulnerable Immigrants Who Face Abuse to Historic Violence Against Women Act

March 17, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives will vote to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, a landmark law that combats sexual assault and domestic violence. Included in the bill was an amendment authored by Rep. Dean Phillips (MN-03) that would ensure that women and children immigrants who face domestic violence can leave their abuser without losing their legal immigration status. 

“No one—and I mean no one— should be forced to stay in an abusive relationship because they fear deportation,” said Rep. Phillips. “My amendment to the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act would create a pilot program for victims of domestic abuse to apply for independent immigration status. It is that simple, and it is that important.”

Initially passed in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act was reauthorized on a bipartisan basis in 2000, 2005, and 2013. The law expired in 2019.

WATCH: Phillips speaks on the House floor in support of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act

Remarks as prepared:

I rise today in support of my amendment and the underlying bill.

No one—and I mean no one— should be forced to stay in an abusive relationship because they fear deportation.

Under current law, if a woman travels to the United States of America with someone on a temporary visa and that relationship turns abusive, they are trapped.

My amendment to the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act would create a pilot program for victims of domestic abuse to apply for independent immigration status

It is that simple, and it is that important.

###