Saturday, January 16, 2016

Maddy's Post #3

The winter break was a fruitful and productive one regarding my WomenNC Policy Brief. I finally had a chance to focus solely on the project, and I quickly found out that the outline I had prepared was both oversaturated with ideas, and under-saturated with information. There are a plethora of incredible organizations in NC who are working tirelessly to improve both immigrant community wellbeing and domestic violence prevention, and I was initially so overwhelmed by the various issues and projects being conducted to mitigate this issues, that I felt obligated to include them all. The most difficult part of finding only one issue to really focus on for my brief, was the amount of shocking information and statistics I found along my route of research among each of these communities. One of the most surprising, and one that happened to span across both undocumented women and sexual assault/domestic violence survivors was the topic of U-Visas. Firstly, I was not aware that U-visas existed, a program that is intended to allow victims of domestic violence temporary residence, but that was not the most surprising part of the process. The most shocking part to me was the difficulty of obtaining and utilizing the U-Visa, the fact that the high-volume of need is not matched by the allowed government camp on the number of visas, and the fact that often times the visas are only granted to those who can prove they entered the US without certain actions, such as lying to an immigration officer, and act that many were required to commit in the process of fleeing their home countries. I learned that the government caps the amount of U-Visas applied for every year at 10,000, even though that amount has been reached well before the end of the fiscal year for the past several years. (NOLO) While U-Visas are able to help many undocumented citizens in the US every year, the process to obtain them is not necessarily accessible to many, and is certainly not designed to be distributed at a volume necessary to fulfill the need. I will be examining this process in my policy brief, and I aim to include suggestion to improve this process and experts in immigration and visa law (with specialized training in U-Visas) to be included in the specialized Sexual Assault Response Team I am proposing to increase reporting in undocumented women survivors in NC.

NOLO. "How Long Will It Take to Get a U-Visa?" NOLO Law Encyclopedia, n.d. Web.

1 comment:

  1. The most difficult part for women's rights activists is always narrowing down the level of discrimination against women to just one fixable thing at a time. Good work!