In some cases, husbands would use their control over their victims’ immigration status as a tool of abuse, refusing to sign the proper paperwork or threatening to revoke it. The act created a “self-petitioning” process that allows such women to confidentially apply for protected immigration status on their own. 

The Republican bill would eliminate that confidentiality and require women to go to the closest immigration office. It would allow the officer, not specifically trained in domestic violence response, to reach out to and inform the abusive partner that the alleged victim is applying for immigration status.