I want to take a moment, in the midst of the excitement about comprehensive immigration reform, to flag for you that the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) should be back on our radar.
Senators Leahy (D-VT) and Crapo (R-ID) and Representative Gwen Moore (D-WI) introduced a reauthorization of VAWA in their respective chambers. This introduction comes after VAWA legislation failed to advance in the 112th Congress.
While I welcome the renewed effort to reauthorize this important legislation, I’m disappointed that the bills introduced last week don’t include an expansion of U visas, available to migrant survivors of serious crimes, or U visa recipients, for which LIRS has long advocated. However, I’m encouraged by the commitment of Senator Leahy to seeing these provisions adopted as part of a comprehensive immigration reform bill expected to appear before the Judiciary Committee, which he chairs, in the spring.
As Congress continues to tackle immigration issues, I’d like to thank those of you who spoke up during the interfaith call-in day, making over 1,200 calls and encouraging elected officials to take a humane approach to comprehensive reform. Thank you for your commitment to Stand for Welcome!