The house passed HR 4970 to make Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA) petitions for immigrant abused individual more harder to get the immigration. Under the old VAWA law, if a relative abused an individual, then the abused individual could get immigration through that petitioner. Now they have to have a much higher burden of proof including 2 interviews, 2 adjudicators, etc. Note that ordinarily, if that individual was not abused, immigration options were open to her. For instance, if the US Citizen husband of an immigrant women did not abuse that women, loved her and filed a petition for her, then she would get the immigration. However if he abused her, she would have to have 2 interviews, 2 adjudicators, etc to get the same immigration benefit.
Yes, there are some instances where women have used the law falsely to get the benefit. But those are rare. Even in normal marriages there are cases of people getting benefits without actually marrying.
What makes this all the more sad is that abuse is more common in immigrant communities than the general American Communities. Many a times Immigrant men have grown up in a culture of subjugating women. The women are more timid and don’t complain unless it becomes unbearable. I have seen women locked inside houses, with no food, made to do horrible sex acts and yes, beaten. Very often, if they have to go back to their home country, the taboo of a divorce follows them. They cannot marry again because no one will touch a divorced women. With little or no education, they cannot work. They remain as a burden to their parents and brothers.