Many women struggle to find the courage to call the police when they are the victims of domestic violence. That hesitance is only expected to grow since a woman was taken into custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement after she called the police seeking help in a domestic violence incident.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, the woman is not alone in her story. At least three cases in her immediate area have seen undocumented immigrants wind up arrested and facing deportation after turning to the police for help.
An attorney for the ACLU said the reason this is occurring is because of a state law that requires police to report any potential undocumented immigrants. There is an exception for victims of domestic abuse, but sometimes investigators fail to get the story straight and arrest the wrong person.
Advocates for women and immigrants say such a risk could dissuade some undocumented female immigrants from turning in their boyfriends or spouses on domestic violence charges. This could create a very dangerous situation for immigrant women.
The ACLU has encouraged local authorities to change their procedure in order to better protect these women, but law enforcement has declined to make any accommodations to the organization thus far.
As a result, many women across the country could find themselves afraid to turn in their assailant. The worry is that women will choose to remain in the United States at the risk of continued abuse rather than turn to law enforcement and risk being deported.
Source: Fox News Latino, "Woman Who Made Domestic Violence Call Ends up in Immigration Custody," May 24, 2012