Ruthie Responds

January 4, 2010

Domestic Violence Asylum – Why help here instead of there?

Filed under: 1 — rhendrycks @ 9:57 am

Domestic Violence Asylum
Why help here instead of there?

By: Ruthie Hendrycks
January 3, 2010

First, let me say that the issue of Domestic Violence is one that I do not take lightly, it is an issue I have strong opinions, thoughts and concerns with – most likely stemming from my mother and fathers relationship, may he rest in peace and I also believe that as a humane society – we must address this issue and STOP IT.

However, with that said, I would also like to state that I believe we should clean our own house before we continue to clean the homes of everyone else.

Let me explain:
Following my thoughts…. is an article, concerning domestic violence abroad and the seek for asylum in the United States. Although dated 7/09 it was first brought to my attention and should be shared with you.

Tackling domestic violence is a gallant and welcomed action however the issue is not if those who experience domestic violence, should receive assistance – but if they need the Administration of the United States of America to do so and if they need to physically reside in the US.
Simply put : The issue is not if they need help and assistance – the issue is why us and why here.

Everyday in the United States, one woman is beaten by her husband every 15 seconds, with three to four million women in the U.S. beaten in their homes yearly. Battering is prevalent in all races, economic classes, affiliations, occupations and backgrounds no matter what your social or educational status may be. And per our now…. Vice President of the U.S., then Senator, Joseph Biden in 1991 “Fifty percent of all homeless women and children in this country are fleeing domestic violence“. These are Americans on the run fearing for their lives

I must add here… the fact that while doing minimal research for this article, I was amazed at the resources for those classified as minorities. Should our efforts not be for all Americans first, working to provide them safety and a life without abuse over that of race and gender and other countries?

Knowing this one must ask…………..
What about those in our own house – The American Woman -or Man- or is on the run in their own country who fears for their lives? What Country will welcome with Asylum?

Where is the government from which they are fleeing – why do these leaders not care as much for their fellow citizens to stop the abuse?

Why is it that the Governments of every Country that is humanized to the role of the ‘Spouse’ and the dignity that should be demanded of everyone – not stepping up to the plate and addressing the issue and why do we not demand they do so, instead of bringing them to our soil, soil that has its own victims?

With the lack of homeland security, which is well documented and the lack of leadership to secure our nation, in addition to a wide open border – especially from several of the countries listed in this story, what is preventing the abuser from finding them here in the US?

One must also ask if there are those – those really not experiencing the abuse that they claim – that will use this to scam their way into citizenship to the U.S. – seeing is it obvious to all but not stated by those with an open borders agenda that we do not know who is in our Country – who will be in charge of the proof need to ensure claims made are not a scam and who will pay for this truth finding?
Who will pay for all this legality to determine if their claims are true?

Although it is obvious, this South Asian group is doing a service that needs to be addressed, why is their focus on a specific group and not for Americans, and why do they not fight to change abuse in the countries they advocate for there instead of here? Where does the funding for these groups come from – the American taxpayer? If so, why are we not putting more funds to Americans who are abused everyday to stop domestic violence in our own Country before we extend the arm of asylum in the USA to others experiencing the same violence and devastation?

What does this do and what message does it send to those who remain in these Countries. Primarily the women who cannot flee and the abusers who go unpunished.

This is another attempt -no matter how gallant- at fixing problems of those in other Countries over that of our own and provides yet another avenue for the erosion of our sovereignty and abuse of our immigration laws. Maybe, this current Administration, could work with the Countries that these victims are fleeing to end the cycle of violence there instead of bringing these victims here and address the needs of Americans and Legal Residents who suffer domestic violence.

And that is a Ruthie Response memo………..
Ruthie Hendrycks

Obama Allows Asylum for Battered Women
New America Media, News Report, Viji Sundaram, Posted: Jul 18, 2009
Editor’s Note: Foreign battered women who want to start a new life in the United States have finally a chance to do that through asylum, thanks to the Obama administration revising asylum laws, reports NAM health editor Viji Sundaram.

Calling it one of the best options the Obama administration has made available to foreign battered women, women’s advocacy groups in the United States lauded the administration for making it possible for those women to begin a new life in this country.

Earlier this week, the administration said that if women in foreign countries could show, in addition to meeting other strict conditions to asylum, that they had been treated by their abuser as little more than chattel, and that their home countries wink at such behavior, then the women could seek to make the United States their permanent home.

“This restoration of gender-based asylum should be celebrated,” said Purvi Shah, executive director of the 20-year-old New York-based support group for South Asian abused women, Sakhi. “We all deserve to live free of abuse, and immigration status should not be a barrier to that vision of a healthy life.”

“It’s a very positive policy change,” asserted Karen Musalo, director of the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies at the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. “It’s going to benefit many women.”

The administration’s position stemmed from a case filed in an immigration appeals court by a Mexican woman who said she would likely be murdered by her common law husband in Mexico if she were sent back to her homeland. In court documents, the woman claimed she had been repeatedly raped at gunpoint by her husband, and threatened to be burnt alive when he found out that she was pregnant.
Several other such claims by other battered women seeking asylum have been tied up in the U.S. courts in the last dozen years. The Bush administration did not want to recognize those claims, the first of which was filed in 1996 by a Guatemalan woman. After many years of litigation, an immigration court declared that she was not a part of any persecuted group under U.S. law.

Three years ago, Congress gave some relief to undocumented abused women in the form of the so-called U-visa, which allowed them a temporary work permit, which could eventually lead to a green card.

But last week’s move by the Obama administration would allow abused women to file for legal residency status through asylum.

“Asylum gives you permanent status without having to go through any other steps,” said Sheela Murthy, an immigration lawyer in Baltimore, Md., who also advocates for women.

Most requests for asylum currently filed in the United States are based on claims by applicants that they fear persecution if they are sent back to their homeland because of their race, religion, nationality, political beliefs or any particular party they may belong to. Murthy said nearly 80 percent of those applicants are denied asylum for lack of providing adequate evidence.

Asylum seekers generally arrive in the United States on fake travel documents. Upon arrival at the airport, they ask for asylum.

“Getting asylum is not going to be a slam dunk” for abused women, Murthy reiterated, noting that they have to meet the most stringent of requirements.

Even so, Atashi Chakravarty, executive director of the Berkeley-based help line for South Asian battered women, said she believes that scores of people from the Indian sub-continent will benefit from the new policy change.

“We have clients who are taken to India by their abusive spouses and abandoned there, only to face more physical and emotional abuse from their in-laws,” Chakravarty said.

Shah and other women’s advocates say there is no danger of the new policy opening the floodgates of applications from women who claim they were battered.

“Anyone who believes such a thing has never filed for asylum,” said Shah, noting: “The fact that this route exists again doesn’t negate the need for significant evidence of abuse and the need to meet very rigorous parameters to qualify for gender-based asylum.

“This is why other strategies for immigration relief must still exist – so that any immigrant survivor understands she can be safe, and that in the United States, violence against women is a crime which will not be condoned.”


Ruthie Hendrycks, is the President and Founder of Minnesotans Seeking Immigration Reform,, She is the host of the weekly radio program “The Ruthie Report” which can be found at In addition, her articles can be found at or at She is a member of various groups including those combating illegal immigration. She can be contacted at


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