Child Seeking Help
This sort of Q & A exchange is unusual because the child instigates the contact.
Q: My mom married an American but he’s not nice at all. He hits her. She is scared to leave him bc we have not received our green cards yet.
A: You and your mom do not need to stay in that relationship. The most important thing is to be safe as a first step. No one should disrespect you or hurt your mom. You and your mom are not stuck without options. It is possible for her to leave the relationship and still get green cards for both of you, depending on your age. I have questions:
- What is your age?
- Do you live in the home together with your mom and stepdad?
- Is your mom available to call me to discuss?
- You mention your stepfather hits your mom. Can you tell me more?
- It sounds as if you already have green cards in process based on the marriage. Is that correct?
- Is there an attorney working on your green card process?
I’m sorry for so many questions, but I can help if I clearly understand.
Q: I’m 12. My mom is scared to do anything. He hits her. She was crying. It’s not the first time. I’m not scared, but my mom won’t do anything. She doesn’t have a job. My dad has an attorney.
A: Thank you. Hang in there. Is it possible for your mom to call me privately? My number is 888.483.0311. The call is free. I want to talk to her about women’s shelters. Your mom must know that your stepdad has a responsibility to care for both of you. I can tell her about this. Your mom does not know her power. I can tell her and it will help. She can make her own decisions. She can probably have a green card without your stepdad. You too. I have information to give her. I also want to know more about the attorney. Please show your mom this message. You can call me too if you like, but it’s better for your mom to call. Thanks, Allan
Q: I will do it.
Children can benefit from the mother’s claim of abuse. The child may have a direct claim for a green card under VAWA. The first step is to get them into a safe zone and then work on their case. As such, women’s shelters help with that transition, but sometimes there are also relatives or friends who can help while we get the mom work authorization and put her on a path toward a green card and citizenship. I notice that the green card application is pending. Given this, there are Federal support rules in addition to state court awards for spouse and child support, so this mother will not be without means of support. She simply lacks a game plan to get her into a better place together with her smart child.
Clearly there is stress, so I would be gentle on the phone with either of them to give them as much information as I have and let them decide what they want to do. Often, there are several phone calls to help make things clear. We have quite a few of these sorts of VAWA cases and all results have been good.
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