Congress Reauthorizes VAWA But Falls Short On Immigration Provisions
After a long wait, Congress has reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), with several new protections that are of relevance to immigrant clients and practitioners. President Obama is expected to sign the bill this afternoon. But first, what is VAWA? In 1994, Congress enacted the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA I), the first comprehensive federal legislation to address specifically the issue of violence against women. VAWA I improved greatly the availability of overall support and resources for domestic violence survivors through the creation of new criminal enforcement authority and enhanced penalties to combat domestic violence in federal courts, and provided grants to fund programs to fight violence against women.