Updated: Feb 8
I hope everyone's New Year began with a lot of peace and happiness. Although I'm a little late with New Year's wishes, I'm just in time for Chinese New Year.
What is Love?
Ahhh, The age-old question that has been debated for centuries. I won't get into that discussion now (or ever), but because we're celebrating Love on Valentine's Day this month, today's focus is about what love IS NOT. Why? you might ask. Because immigrants and non-immigrants of all races, classes, immigration status, and education levels are vulnerable and susceptible to being exploited and preyed on by people who might least suspect.
What Love is NOT
To start, Love is not abuse, rape, or slavery. (Yes, slavery still exists in the United States.) Love does not force people to work for little to no pay; it does not force someone to clean a home or to have unwanted sex in exchange for protection; it does not make you feel like a hostage or prisoner; and it certainly does not sell you to another human being or make you feel ashamed because of your immigration status. These are just a few examples of how an abuser may want to take advantage of you, all while pretending to love and respect you.
If you are:
An undocumented individual,
A person who entered legally but whose Visa has expired,
A DACA recipient,
An international undergraduate or graduate student or
An Abused Immigrant or Non-Immigrant Spouse
AND you have been the victim of a violent crime, abuse, or you have been forced to work for little to no pay, please speak with a trusted adviser or counselor to determine whether support services are available to help you with your situation.
Regardless of where you live in the United States, call my office at (956) 831-1424 to discuss whether you may be eligible for a special type of Visa which was specifically created for these types of cases.