Unfinished Business

Civil Rights News: Sen. Murray on Violence Against Women Act; VAWA Should Protect Natives; Immigrants Blocked from Law Practice

Compiled by Maddie Peare

Don’t Allow Partisan Bickering to Stall Violence Against Women (Opinion)
The Seattle Times

Patty Murray
Since the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was first passed in 1994, each reauthorization has received bipartisan support. The current version of VAWA in the Senate has received bipartisan support. However, the House version of the bill, which is supported by mostly conservatives, does not expand protections to immigrant women, native American women, or the LGBT community.  Because the Senate and the House have not come to an agreement on whether to expand VAWA protections, many vulnerable people are left unprotected. Senator Patty Murray, D. Wa., wrote this op-ed urging Congress to put politics aside and provide all victims of violence with the resources they deserve.

Pass a Violence Against Women Act That Protects American Indians (Opinion)
The Christian Science Monitor

Sherry Hamby
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is up for reauthorization in Congress this year but the House version of the bill does not protect all women. One in three native women has been raped in her lifetime and two out of five have experienced violence at the hands of a husband or boyfriend. Furthermore, 86 percent of those who commit sexual violence against native American women are non-Indian. Sherry Hamby says that it is clear from these statistics that women in tribal communities need the extra protection stipulated in the Senate version of VAWA.

Illegal Immigrant Can’t Be Lawyer
The San Francisco Chronicle

Bob Egelko
Although Sergio Garcia graduated from law school and passed the California State Bar Exam, he is ineligible to become a practicing attorney due to his immigration status. Garcia’s father is now a U.S. citizen and sponsored his application for legal status. However, it could take at least ten years for Garcia’s application to be approved. Garcia is also ineligible for President Obama deferred action and work visas executive order for DREAMers because he is 35 and the age limit for the program is 30. Currently, the state supreme court is deciding whether Garcia and other undocumented immigrants are eligible to become lawyers.