May 15, 2012 LETTER — LIRS Urges Protections for Migrants in the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act

Press Contact: Jon Pattee, LIRS Assistant Director for Media Relations

The Honorable John Boehner
U.S. House of Representatives
H-232, U.S. Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Minority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives
H.-204, U.S. Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Speaker Boehner and Minority Leader Pelosi,

On behalf of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), the national organization established by Lutheran churches in the United States to serve uprooted people, I write to express concerns with a number of the immigration provisions included in H.R. 4970, legislation to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Despite amendments filed to the Committee on Rules by Representative Sandy Adams (R-FL-24), LIRS urges the removal of Sections 801, 802, and 806 before the bill is brought to the floor of the House of Representatives.

Originally enacted in 1994 and reauthorized in 2000 and 2005, VAWA has a long history of bipartisan support, uniting lawmakers with the common purpose of protecting survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other crimes. However, H.R. 4970 would weaken protections for migrant victims of violence and deter them from assisting law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of crimes.
LIRS appreciates Congress’s interest in reauthorizing VAWA, but we ask you to remove Sections 801, 802, and 806 from H.R. 4970. These provisions would undermine nearly two decades of bipartisan progress on protecting migrant victims of violence and hinder law enforcement efforts to prosecute crimes.

Please contact Eric B. Sigmon, LIRS Director for Advocacy, at (202) 626-7943 or via email at with any questions.

Yours in faith,

Linda Hartke
President and CEO
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service