VAWA II, SEC. 621, 622, 623


This subtitle may be cited as the `Battered Immigrant Women's Protection Act'.


(a) FINDINGS- Congress finds that--

(1) the goal of the immigration protections for battered immigrants included in the Violence Against Women Act was to remove immigration laws as a barrier that kept battered immigrant women and children locked in abusive relationships;

(2) providing battered immigrant women and children who were experiencing domestic violence at home with protection against deportation allows them to obtain protection orders against their abusers and frees them to cooperate with law enforcement and prosecutors in criminal cases brought against their abusers and the abusers of their children; and

(3) there are several groups of battered immigrant women and children who do not have access to VAWA's immigration protections, which means that their abusers are virtually immune from prosecution because their victims can be deported and the Immigration and Naturalization Service cannot offer them protection no matter how compelling their case under existing law.

(b) PURPOSES- The purposes of this subtitle are--

(1) to promote criminal prosecutions of all persons who commit acts of battery or extreme cruelty against immigrant women and children;

(2) to offer protection against domestic violence occurring in family and intimate relationships that are covered in State protection order, domestic violence, and family law statutes; and

(3) to correct erosions of Violence Against Women Act immigration protections that occurred as a result of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.

(c) SENSE OF CONGRESS- It is contrary to the law enforcement purposes of the Violence Against Women Act for State law enforcement officers, prosecutors, or judges to inquire into the immigration status of a domestic violence victim who is seeking protection from crimes of domestic violence, battering, or extreme cruelty that are being committed against the immigrant or her children, and for law enforcement officers, prosecutors, or courts to report domestic violence victims to the Immigration and Naturalization Service


(a) Section 204(a)(1)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act is amended by adding at the end the following new clause:

`(vi)(I) For the purposes of making good moral character determinations under this section, the Attorney General may waive the bar to issuing a finding of `good moral character' in the case of an alien who otherwise qualifies for relief under section 204(a)(1)(A)(iii), (iv), and (v), but who has also been convicted of, or who pled guilty to, violating a court order issued to protect the alien or forced prostitution, or committed or who was convicted of or pled guilty to committing a crime under duress from the person who battered or subjected the alien to extreme cruelty, or to a domestic violence-related crime, when the Attorney General determines that the alien acted in self-defense.

`(II) After finding that an alien has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty and is otherwise eligible for relief under section 204(a)(1)(A)(iii), (iv), or (v), the Attorney General may enter a finding of `good moral character' despite the existence of a disqualifying criminal act or criminal conviction.'.


(a)(1) Section 501(c)(1)(A) of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1641(c)(1)(A)) is amended by striking `by a spouse or a parent, or by a member of the spouse or parent's family residing in the same household as the alien and the spouse or parent consented to, or acquiesced in, such battery or cruelty,' and inserting `by a spouse, parent, son, or daughter or by any person having a relationship with the alien covered by the civil or criminal domestic violence statutes of the State or Indian country where the alien resides, or the State or Indian country in which the alien, the alien's child or the alien child's parents received a protection order, or by any individual against whom the alien could obtain a protection order,'.