Kudos to the U.S. Senate for reauthorizing the 1994 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) with strong bipartisan support!  The renewed and improved VAWA provides critical additional resources for immigrant men, women and children fleeing violence. These include:

  • An increased number of visas available to undocumented victims of domestic violence;
  • A ban against discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender victims of domestic violence; and
  • Increased authority to Native American tribes to address domestic violence.

Vice President Joe Biden, who sponsored the bill when he was a senator, had this to say: “The Senate’s action today reaffirms that addressing this problem is bigger than politics.  In 2012, we should be beyond questioning the need for the Violence Against Women Act.”

“Expanding coverage for domestic violence should never have been controversial,” remarked Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), “Where a person lives, who they love, or what their citizenship status may be should not determine whether or not their perpetrators are brought to justice.”

READ MORE: Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Overwhelmingly Passes Senate, HuffPost (April 26, 2012).