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Vigorous Representation of Undocumented Victims of Domestic Violence in State Family Court

By Adela Carlin & Nora Phillips

When undocumented immigrant victims of domestic violence appear in family court, abusers sometimes seek to use the victims’ undocumented status against them; the abusers argue, for example, that the court should consider lack of legal status in awarding child custody. Advocates must be prepared to respond to such strategies and be familiar with the primary immigration remedies available to victims of domestic violence: Violence Against Women self-petitions, the U visa, and conditional resident waivers.

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