you or your children are foreign nationals and are in a marital
or parental relationship with an abusive United States citizen (USC)
or green card holder (LPR), you and/or your children may qualify
to self-petition for green card status. Our Firm has extensive experience
with domestic violence issues in the immigration context, works
closely with domestic violence support services, and can advise
you on a course of action that is best for the overall welfare of
you and your children.
are many issues that arise for families experiencing domestic violence
and if a child or spouse is a foreign national there are additional
considerations to be taken into account. Most importantly, family
members, regardless of legal status, should do what is best for
the safety of themselves and their children. If there is an emergency
situation, call 911 for help or contact a domestic violence shelter.
If you live in Prince William County, VA, the local shelter is ACTS/Turning
Points: 703-221- 4951 www.actspwc.org/programs/turning_points.asp.
To create a safety plan for yourself: go to
www.ncall.us/docs/SafetyPlanExample10-06.pdf to see sample safety
plans. For more information on domestic violence shelters and programs
in your area, see our Helpful Resources
Be aware that in certain jurisdictions where local police cooperate
with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), such as Prince William
County, VA and many other jurisdictions, taking action that involves
law enforcement or the judicial system, including filing police
complaints or getting restraining orders, may result in the abusive
spouse or parent coming into the custody of ICE and/or their immigration
status being jeopardized. (See our Helpful
Resources page for more information
on 287(g) and Secured Communities ICE programs.) There are also
immigration consequences of divorce that can negatively impact a
foreign national, especially if that person is a conditional resident.