Being an undocumented immigrant in Illinois comes with many worries. Those worries only intensify if an undocumented immigrant is experiencing abuse. Though everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity, that doesn’t always happen. For an undocumented immigrant who is trying to regain control of their life and get away from an abuser, the prospect of leaving might seem rife with complications and risks.
Undocumented victims of domestic abuse
If you’re a victim of domestic violence, the Violence Against Women Act, otherwise known as VAWA, might help. VAWA can help you get a green card without relying on your abuser. Abusive American citizens or permanent residents sometimes threaten their victims with deportation, but VAWA might prevent that if you qualify. VAWA also allows abused men to self-petition for a green card.
Undocumented victims of serious criminal activity
When you’re an undocumented victim of criminal activity, a U nonimmigrant status might suit your needs. Otherwise known as a U visa, this path can apply to your situation even if you are not experiencing violence in the home.
Undocumented victims of human trafficking
Human trafficking victims might benefit from T nonimmigrant status, otherwise known as the T visa. If someone is forcing you to work against your will in bad conditions, you might be a trafficking victim.
The process of getting help as an undocumented abuse victim can be complicated. However, it’s possible. If you’re an undocumented immigrant experiencing abuse, you might benefit from talking to an attorney with immigration law experience.