DuPage County Immigration Attorneys | Mevorah Law Offices LLC
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630-932-9100
Free Initial Consultation | Se habla español 630-932-9100
Mevorah Law Offices LLC
630-932-9100
DuPage County Attorneys

LOMBARD

900 E. Roosevelt Road, Lombard, IL 60148

Phone: 630-932-9100

BLOOMINGDALE

134 N. Bloomingdale Road, Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Phone: 630-529-4761

ST. CHARLES

333 N. Randall Road, Suite 104, St. Charles, IL 60175

Phone: 630-443-0600

CHICAGO

105 W. Madison Street, Suite 2200, Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 630-932-9100

NAPERVILLE

1730 Park Street, Suite 202, Naperville, IL 60563

Phone: 630-420-1000
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in VAWA

 IL immigration lawyerBuried in the headlines during the December 2018-January 2019 government shutdown was the expiration of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which is a federal law helping to fund domestic violence shelters, regulate civil and criminal penalties against abusers, and establish community resources for abuse victims. However, what is often lost in the shuffle is that VAWA also grants a potential avenue for immigrants who have been victims of abuse to acquire lawful permanent residence in the United States. As of this writing, VAWA has been extended through February 15, 2019, but if it expires again, it could leave applicants fleeing abuse in the proverbial lurch as funding for legal assistance dries up.

Domestic Violence Is an Immigration Issue

The average person may not connect the dots as to how domestic violence and immigration have anything to do with each other, but in reality, the two are closely intertwined, especially for spouses. It is not uncommon for a foreign national to meet and marry a U.S. citizen, only to have that U.S. citizen abuse or mistreat them, up to and including refusing to help them obtain legal status in the country. Many immigrant spouses, especially women, feel that they have no choice but to remain in abusive marriages, especially if they have U.S. citizen children - often, they are told that if they try to leave, they will be deported and never see their children again.

One might obviously assume that the proper thing to do is immediately seek help from U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), but in many cases, especially if the abuse victim is out of legal status and/or cannot prove that abuse has occurred, it can, unfortunately, do more harm than good, especially under this administration. If an abuse victim is undocumented for more than 180 days and less than 1 year, they will be barred from applying for future visas for 3 years; if they remain in the country without status for more than 1 year, that bar extends to 10 years. Very often, abuse victims speak little English. Legal help is needed in order to try and escape, but funds for legal clinics are harder and harder to come by.

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 IL immigration lawyerUnfortunately, when immigrants come to settle in the U.S., they are very often the victims of crime, especially if they are undocumented, because they are seen as easy targets. If you have been the victim of a crime, particularly a violent crime, it can feel like seeing justice is hopeless, but there is an option by which you may be permitted to remain in the U.S. and assist law enforcement at the same time. The U visa is designed especially for victims of crime, though the criteria are strict, and there are other options you may wish to explore as well.

U Visas

There is a lack of hard data on immigrants as crime victims. Due to language problems and fear of retaliation or deportation, especially under this administration, some immigrant populations are slow to report crimes against them, and some studies do support this conclusion. However, it is not difficult to understand why immigrants might hesitate to report, especially those who belong to vulnerable groups, such as women or members of the LGBT community. Partly as a response to this reluctance, the U.S. government implemented the T and U visas, with the T visa being reserved for human trafficking victims and their families while U visas are for victims of crime in general.

You may be eligible to apply for a U visa if you meet the relevant criteria, which are:

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One Stop For All Your Legal Needs

Whether you are going through a divorce, injured in an accident, need to file a workers' compensation claim, charged with a crime, immigrating to the United States, or need to file for bankruptcy, Mevorah Law Offices LLC can help. Our trial lawyers have over 40 years of experience helping clients throughout Northern Illinois from five offices in Lombard, Bloomindale, Naperville, St. Charles, and Chicago.

Steven Mevorah has assembled experienced attorneys under one roof so that his clients need not search for a new attorney each time they need help. Mr. Mevorah has also established a wide network of additional attorneys so that his clients merely need to stop by Mevorah Law Offices LLC to find the attorney they need.

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