Immigrants in the US have the right to be free from abuse regardless of their legal status.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
It is important that you inform yourself about your rights as an immigrant and that you stay abreast of changes to immigration laws. This page is designed to give you useful information. However, it is extremely important that you consult with an immigration attorney for your specific case.
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO:
Live free from violence
Asking for help without having to provide information about your immigration status
Access limited English assistance, emergency medical care, shelter, short-term housing, crisis intervention and counseling programs, soup kitchens, community food banks, Title IX protection, assistance from law enforcement, and compensation from crime victims.
Get interpretation and translation services when communicating with emergency shelter, health clinic or the police for help. If you are denied limited English proficiency services, that is considered discrimination. If this happens, you or a close friend (without risk of deportation) can file a complaint online with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights here .
Request a protection order against your abuser
Receive medical care in a hospital emergency room. Federal law requires that any hospital that receives government funding must provide care for all patients who need emergency medical care until the patient is stabilized. This law covers all people regardless of immigration status and does not require proof of citizenship or insurance. If they ask you about proof of insurance or citizenship, you have the right not to answer.
VAWA FOR VICTIMS OF ABUSE
VAWA is the acronym for a law called the Violence Against Women Act, or Violence Against Women Act, which was passed by Congress in 1994. Among other things, VAWA created special provisions in United States immigration law to protect victims of abuse who are not citizens of the United States. In domestic violence cases, United States immigration law allows certain victims of abuse who are not citizens to obtain their legal status without having to depend on the abuser.
The WomensLaw.org website has excellent information about this benefit and other resources. Please consult with a lawyer for legal advice on your case.
U VISA FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME
The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act created U visa status (also known as U nonimmigrant status). It is designed to offer legal status to crime victims who are not citizens and who have assisted, are assisting, or want to assist authorities in investigating crimes committed against them.
The WomensLaw.org website has excellent information about this benefit and other resources. Please consult a lawyer for legal advice on your case.
This website explains laws related to domestic violence in "plain language" and provides links to legal and non-legal organizations that work with victims of domestic violence in each state. WomensLaw.org also has an Email Information Line where victims and their friends, family, and advocates can ask questions and get an attorney's answer. The Email Information Line and much of the legal information are available in Spanish and English.