Threat of deportation

Mature woman looking at camera with woven hat on

Living with the threat of deportation

For 20 years, Anna lived under the abuse and control of her American husband, who refused to allow her to become a U.S. citizen. Despite her efforts to obtain a Green Card, she needed her husband’s approval. Instead of signing her paperwork, he held the threat of deportation over her head as a method of control.

For 20 years, Anna endured physical, financial, and emotional abuse while fearing that her husband could have her deported at any time.

Over time the violence grew worse and left Anna disabled. Yet Anna stayed to protect their daughter Noemi. She was afraid that she would be deported if she left, and Noemi, a U.S. citizen, would be left alone with her abusive father. That was a risk Anna didn’t want to take.

Finally, the physical abuse became too much for Anna to bear. After reporting a physical assault to the local police, Anna connected with LifeWire.

Helping immigrant survivors

After calling LifeWire’s 24 Hour Helpline, Anna connected with a homelessness services advocate. Within just a few short days, Anna and her daughter were able to move into LifeWire’s Emergency Shelter – My Sister’s Home. There, they were safe from their abuser for the first time in many years.

While staying in My Sister’s Home, Anna connected with a legal advocate, who helped her obtain documentation through the Violence Against Women Act – giving her legal status as a U.S. citizen for the first time.

Together with her legal advocate, Anna filed for divorce and gained permanent custody of her daughter.