[Update 3/18/2021: The House of Representatives passed the bill on March 17 by a vote of 224 to 172.]
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is up for renewal in a vote schedule later today in the House of Representatives. Among its many provisions are some that lead to green cards for aliens alleging abuse from citizen spouses.
The prospects for the bill are favorable in the House, and if it gets by the Senate it is sure to be signed by Joe Biden, who wrote the original legislation back in 1994. It is a short-term bill and periodically needs to be renewed.
The problem is that VAWA is full of excellent provisions and is generally popular, but within it — hidden from all but a few of us — are arrangements that allow an alien bride or groom to complain, falsely or not, to the Department of Homeland Security that his or her citizen spouse abused them, and that gives them the right to a self-petitioned green card. The further problem is that DHS, when faced with such applications, more or less throws up its hands as to the validity of the claims, and grants the alien's petition, often without allowing the citizen involved to contest the claims of abuse.
Then, to make matters worse, VAWA funds a number of anti-violence organizations that provide legal and other services to the complaining alien, while the citizen spouse has access to no countering organizations.
For the stories of some of the citizens who have been battered by VAWA, see here.