United States: Victims of Violence Fear Arrest and Deportation Under New Immigration Enforcement Policies
Wednesday, March 22, 2017 11:25 PM

Many immigrant victims of violence in the United States are not seeking help from law enforcement or the courts because they fear arrest and deportation under new federal immigration enforcement policies. These new policies, authorized by US President Donald Trump in early 2017, prioritize the deportation of every undocumented immigrant “regardless of their criminal status.” Additionally, prosecutors and rights groups say immigrant victims are dropping existing requests for protection orders or criminal complaints against abusers because they fear immigration officers are targeting victims at courthouses. Although the US has enacted laws designed to protect immigrant crime victims and encourage the prosecution of violent offenders, these laws are inconsistently applied and victims may still be deported before their application for legal status in the US is approved. This means many victims “are choosing the violence in their own homes over the unknown consequences of exposure.” 

Compiled from: Caplan-Bricker, Nora, “I Wish I’d Never Called the Police”Slate Magazine (March 19, 2017); Mallon, Maggie, Women Aren't Reporting Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Out of Fear of Deportation, Glamour (March 22, 2017).