Be it in-person or virtual, Lorena Rivas knows how to captivate an audience as a presenter.
The decorated and well-known Tulsa immigration law attorney was one of the featured speakers at the 2021 AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association) Paralegals Virtual Conference earlier this month.
Rivas did more than just hold her audience’s attention, she addressed yet another sensitive immigration law issue: Violence Against Women Act Petitions, or VAWAs which congress is moving to reauthorize after the bill expired in 2018.
“Very serious issue,” Lorena Rivas said. “Unfortunately, far too many women arrive in the United States as victims of domestic violence, human trafficking and exploitation in the workforce. Although often difficult, it important that these victims know they have some options through federal law protection.”
Rivas not only further shed light on the issue of VAWAs, the high-profile Tulsa immigration law attorney also explained the three forms of protection for “noncitizen women – and men – who are the victims of domestic violence or other qualifying crimes” during the virtual conference.
As Rivas noted, the three primary forms of protection include “T” visas for severe forms of trafficking, “U” visas for victims of crime and “self-petitions” under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
“VAWA petitions can fall under a few different visa options which can add a level of complexity to the petition,” Rivas said. “I would strongly encourage victims to seek consultation with an experienced attorney to help you assess how you can better proceed with your claim.”
Violence Against Women Act Gaining Traction in Congress
Like so many other immigration policies which fell by the wayside during the Trump administration, the Violence Against Women Act also lost its footing in 2018 when the bill expired, although it is gaining some much-needed support and traction.
The House of Representatives on Monday introduced legislation to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, a landmark bill championed by President Joe Biden that expired in 2018. Biden co-sponsored the bill in 1994 as a then senator. Efforts toreauthorize the bill has stalled with both Republican and Democrats introducing their own versions of a reauthorization bill.
Democrat Representatives Sheila Jackson (Texas) and Jerry Nadler (New York) introduced legislation this past spring which would “build upon the previous versions of the VAWA by providing grants and support to various groups that work on issues relating to sexual assault, domestic violence and prevention, among other things.”
Rivas Continues to Shine in Spotlight
Although the Coronavirus pandemic has limited some of Rivas’ speaking engagements, the leading Tulsa immigration law attorney remains a top draw at conferences and by many major media outlets seeking to gain further insight on major immigration law issues.
Rivas appears weekly on Telemendo Oklahoma where the talented attorney weighs in on pressing immigration issue. Rivas has additionally traveled multiple times to Washington D.C. to meet with state and national legislators to discuss immigration reform.
In 2019, Rivas delivered an inspiring speech titled “This is America” to close out the American Heritage Awards in Orlando. She also remains one of Tulsa’s most visible attorneys, being spotlighted by Oklahoma media outlets nearly 15 times in the past five years.
Rivas’ firm Rivas & Associates is a full-service Tulsa immigration law firm providing legal services in a variety of immigration law fields including:
- Business Immigration
- Deportation-Removal Defense
Contact Rivas & Associates today to set up a personal consultation.