The Senate Judiciary Committee Majority Staff On Cornyn 3

From The Senate Judiciary Committee Majority Staff
S. 744: The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act


An amendment offered today during the Judiciary Committee’s consideration of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act would make an immigrant ineligible for Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) status if they have been convicted of one misdemeanor offense related to domestic violence or drunk driving.

Cornyn3 would have a chilling effect on domestic violence reporting.


While the provision purports to target domestic violence offenders, it ultimately harms victims more than it helps them.  Specifically, Cornyn3 will discourage immigrant survivors of domestic violence from contacting law enforcement, if it could result in the deportation of their partner.  This is particularly true in cases where the victim relies on the accuser for financial support or is the co-parent of their child. This provision will harm the survivors it intends to protect by sweeping victims into its scope and ignoring the long term best interests of survivors and their children.  This provision will result in victims of domestic violence being deported.  It is not uncommon for immigrant victims of domestic violence to be arrested along with or instead of the real abuser.


S.744 already makes immigrants deportable or inadmissible for domestic violence crimes.


The comprehensive immigration reform legislation already makes any alien convicted of a crime of domestic violence, stalking, child abuse, child neglect or child abandonment who served at least one year imprisonment deportable or inadmissible for RPI status.  It also renders inadmissible any alien whom a court determines engaged in criminal contempt of a protection order issued for the purposes of preventing domestic violence.  Individuals who commit similar crimes are already deportable under current law.  This amendment will upset the delicate balance created by the bill and current law, which best protects domestic violence victims and their children.


About David Leopold
Past President American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), In-the-Trenches practicing immigration Attorney, Blogger, Activist, Photographer, Educator, World Traveler. All opinions are my own.

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