CINA of Nashville, PC, Managing Attorney Dawn M. Gerhart is building a career on compassionate and determined immigration relief for victims


At CINA of Nashville, PC, the expertise and recognition of Managing Attorney Dawn M. Gerhart lends great credence to the firm’s work in providing immigration relief to victims of human trafficking and other violent crimes. Gerhart’s passion for protecting victims has been recognized by the national legal community, and in 2007, she was named Best New Advocate of the Year by the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services. She leverages creativity and legal strategy to provide victims with visa opportunities and immigration relief under international victims’ protection laws.


Protecting refugees and foreign nationals seeking a better life in the U.S.


Many individuals come to the U.S. fleeing from unstable, unlivable, or dangerous and violent conditions in their home country. Our government has special immigration provisions and laws in place for these individuals, and there are a number of options available to those wishing to remain in the U.S. legally:


Temporary Protected Status—Countries experiencing a severe natural disaster or violence and war may be designated for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) by the government. This means that eligible individuals coming from those countries during the designation period cannot be detained on the basis of status, or removed.
Refugee status— The list of TPS designated states is limited, and there are many other countries in the world where violence or persecution has driven citizens to flee. Refugees are individuals living outside of their home country and who fear returning on account of potential or actual persecution. Individuals granted refugee status are able to enter the U.S. to seek new opportunities.


Citizens from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or the other countries designated for TPS should seek the assistance of an attorney to guarantee eligibility, and to explore the options for attaining permanent legal resident status. Similarly, those fleeing non-TPS countries who are seeking asylum based on fear of persecution must act quickly to begin. Removal and deportation to one’s home country in these cases can be devastating, so if you are looking for an attorney to help secure asylum, it is imperative that you act quickly.


What sort of immigration relief is available to victims of human trafficking or other serious crimes?


Federal immigration law recognizes the vulnerable situation that crime victims who are not in the U.S. legally can find themselves in, and there are visa options available for these victims.


T visas—A T Visa is available for victims of human trafficking who are willing to work with law enforcement officials to investigate and persecute the crime. Individuals granted a T Visa can remain in the U.S. for a period of time, and are eligible to pursue permanent resident status.
U visas—A broader option for victims of crimes other than human trafficking is available through a U Visa. Victims of crimes such as rape, murder, abduction, domestic violence, and a host of additional criminal activities can seek a U Visa, through which they can remain in the U.S. for a period of time. A compassionate U Visa attorney can help victims stay in the country and facilitate interactions with law enforcement for purposes of investigating the crime.
S visas—Individuals who provide reliable and crucial information to law enforcement that is deemed necessary for the successful investigation or prosecution of a criminal or terrorist organization may be eligible for the S visa program.


As with other types of visas, applicants wishing to obtain a T, U, or S visa must submit an application and detailed documentation, and participate in a visa interview. Additionally, within each of these categories, there are visas available for qualifying family members, and CINA of Nashville, PC, has extensive experience helping individuals and families who are victims of crimes secure these visas.


Advocating for battered family members and victims of domestic violence under the Violence Against Women Act


Domestic violence perpetrated against spouses, children, and parents is a serious crime. U.S. immigration law allows victims of such violence to apply for an immigration visa petition under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The VAWA protects spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens and green card holders who have been the victim of domestic violence. There are various eligibility requirements and the process is designed to allow victims to file for a visa without the abuser’s knowledge. Demonstrating that you meet the eligibility requirements and completing the application process can be complicated and especially stressful if you remain with or near your abuser. Managing Attorney Dawn M. Gerhart is nationally recognized for her expertise as a VAWA attorney, and she has helped countless victims escape their abuser and remain in the U.S.


Contact CINA of Nashville, PC, for compassionate and comprehensive protection under U.S. immigration laws

We handle all cases with sensitivity and confidentiality, and you can rely on us for comprehensive legal advocacy. Call us at 001 + (615) 324-7757, or toll-free at (877) 381-2814, for a FREE 10 minute phone consultation.  Or, those in the Nashville area can come by our office to schedule an appointment.  We are located at 2500 21st Avenue, conveniently off I-440, with plenty of parking for clients. At CINA of Nashville, PC, we take the necessary time to get to know you and your family so that we can better serve your immigration needs.  Hablamos Español.