With changes in the new immigration policy laid out by the White House, thousands and thousands of young people are lining up for a chance at staying in the U.S. legally.
One group is getting help to escape abuse without sending them back across the border.
Maria, whose last name we've chosen not to identify, was married for five years to an abusive husband. She said she miscarried one baby because of the abuse.
She said her husband threatened to harm their children for years and even threatened to kill her. Maria said her husband told her it was "real easy" and that he would twist a rope around her and throw her in a canal.
Maria lives in Pinal County and it was her fear of deportation that stopped her from picking up the phone and calling police.
"This is the compassionate side of law enforcement," Sheriff Paul Babeu said.
Little did she know, a federal law that's been on the books since the Clinton administration gives her and women like her protection but Congress is reviewing the law and it could change. For now, the woman are treated like victims, not like illegal immigrants.
"We are all Americans. We can not allow this to happen in our communities. We need to be smart enough to separate these issues," Babeu said.
The Pinal County Sheriff's Office works with the Victim Services Unit to get these women to safety and in some cases they can apply for a temporary work visa like Maria.
Now she just wants other women to know what she did not know more than a decade ago.
"I would tell them that they don't have to live that way and they should not be afraid and that there is help and that the strong will survive and the coward leaves," Maria said.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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