The New York Times last week published part of a letter written by LIRS advocacy staff and circulated among faith leaders to oppose a badly flawed version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), H.R. 4970.
Despite broad opposition, by a 222-205 vote, the House last Wednesday passed H.R. 4970, renewing VAWA for five years but leaving out crucial protections for vulnerable immigrants included in the Senate version of the bill.
Robert Pear’s May 16 article, “House Vote Sets Up Battle on Domestic Violence Bill,” has this to say about the letter, which was addressed to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH-8) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-8):
“Leaders of 31 religious groups, including the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Association of Evangelicals and the Episcopal Church, opposed immigration provisions of the House bill.
These provisions ‘would actually roll back protections in current law for battered noncitizens, making them more vulnerable and, in some cases, endangering their lives,’ the groups said in a letter to House leaders.”
LIRS raised deep concerns about H.R. 4970 not only through the letter, but also on this blog and in other media outlets, from Sojourners to RH Reality Check to La Opinion. As one indication that these concerns were heard, Pelosi mentioned LIRS by name on the House floor as H.R. 4970 was discussed.
Thank you to everyone who contacted their Members of Congress to speak up about H.R. 4970. Please continue to follow this blog as we zero in on next steps in the fight to protect immigrant victims of violence in the VAWA reauthorization and other crucial votes!