According to reporting from the ABC News, a Portland, OR man attempted to bribe an ICE agent into initiating deportation proceedings against his wife and her young child. Antonio Burgos — who was going through a divorce at the time — allegedly offered an ICE agent as much as $4,000 in exchange for deporting his wife and her child to El Salvador. Unbeknownst to Mr. Burgos, the ICE agent recorded his phone call. Last week, he was convicted of bribery of a public official and sentenced to three months in prison.
Sadly, domestic abuse remains a serious problem in our country. For immigrants who are in abusive relationships, getting help can be especially challenging. Because of the way our immigration system is built, many immigrants are forced to rely on their partners to get a green card. The good news is that the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) offers potential relief to victims. Here, our VAWA immigration attorney explains how this law works.
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Offers Immigration Protection
Under the Violence Against Women Act, victims of domestic abuse have the right to self-petition for a green card. The recent case of the attempted bribe in Oregon shows exactly why this option is so important. Immigrants are in a vulnerable position. Unfortunately, in far too many cases, abusers
take advantage of the inherent vulnerability of immigrants. Abusive partners will do things like threaten to call ICE agents or refuse to sign and submit a green card petition simply so that the victim will be forced to remain with the abuser.
VAWA helps to fix this problem. Victims of domestic abuse do not need to get their partner to petition for a green card with them. That requirement, which applies to most other cases,
is removed when domestic abuse has occurred. If you or your family member was the victim of domestic abuse and you have questions about what immigration options are available, you should contact a qualified immigration lawyer in Los Angeles who can give you confidential legal guidance.
VAWA is a Gender Neutral Law
Despite the name, the legal protections created in the Violence Against Women Act apply also apply to men. While women have disproportionately been the victims of domestic abuse, it is something that can happen to any person. For men who have suffered domestic violence at the hands of a partner, immigration relief may also be available under this law. In addition, there are some situations in which VAWA applies to children.
Get Help From Our VAWA Immigration Lawyer Today
At the Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, our compassionate immigration attorney has the skills and experience needed to handle the full range of Violence Against Women Act issues. To get more information about this law and what our law firm can do for you and your family, please contact our Los Angeles law office for a fully private initial consultation.