NYATN Member Ivy Suriyopas Addresses the Violence Against Women Act & New York’s Response
In anticipation of the House’s polarizing Violence Against Women Act bill (HR4970) passing yesterday, State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing) and Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) introduced a NY bill last week, which “would bar state and local law enforcement from inquiring about the immigration status of victims or witnesses during a domestic violence investigation, or from turning victims seeking assistance over to federal authorities.” Called the New York Violence Against Women Act, the bill seeks to protect the confidential identities and statements of victims and witnesses in domestic violence cases, which the federal VAWA has done since its passage in 1994. NYATN, along with hundreds of immigration, faith, labor, civil rights, immigrant rights, and community organizations, strongly opposed HR4970. Both chambers of Congress will now need to reconcile HR4970 with the Senate’s S1925, which passed with bipartisan support 68-31, including all five Republican women, last month. NYATN Steering Committee member, Ivy Suriyopas of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund stated, “Our legal system exists to ensure that criminals are brought to justice, not to punish victims.” Read more…..