Undocumented immigrants in the United States often suffer from poor working conditions, poor housing conditions, and poor treatment at the hands of employers, criminal offenders, and even their own loved ones. These individuals will often not report to law enforcement out of fear of deportation. Failure to make necessary reports of abuse in any of these categories can result in an individual’s injury, illness, exploitation, or death.
The fear of detainment and deportation upon making a report to law enforcement is not unfounded. Recently, a woman in El Paso, Texas was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents shortly after receiving a protective order against a former partner who allegedly abused her.
The Drop in Reported Domestic Violence
Immigrants’ fears about deportation for simply making reports of domestic violence has had a measurable impact on the number of domestic violence and other reports made since the current president took office. Compared with statistics from one year ago, the number of domestic violence reports by Latinos in Los Angeles has dropped 10 percent and the number of sexual assault reports made by this population has dropped 25 percent. In Houston, the number of reported rapes by Latinos is down 40 percent from last year. This is not because crime rates against Latinos have suddenly dropped.
The New York Times reported that many individuals fear that all government law enforcement agencies are connected, putting them at risk of coming into contact with ICE if they make reports to their local law enforcement agencies.
Resources for Immigrant Domestic Violence Victims
There are numerous resources available for undocumented individuals facing domestic violence and other crimes. One domestic violence shelter in Ladera Ranch, California, asks every individual admitted about their immigration status and helps those in need of visa protections apply for these protections, which include the U visa. This type of visa grants victims of certain crimes the right to remain in the United States if they aid law enforcement with investigations of crimes against them. These include sexual assault and domestic violence.
Philadelphia Citizenship Lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. Help Immigrants File Abuse Petitions
All domestic violence victims have the right to take legal action against their abusers. Domestic violence cases can be difficult to prove, but it is not impossible. A lawyer who is experienced in handling domestic violence cases and immigration issues can be a tremendous aid to an undocumented domestic violence victim. To learn more, complete our online contact form or call 215-925-4435 or 888-452-9578 to speak with a member of our team of Philadelphia immigration lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C.
Our office is in Philadelphia and we work with clients from Philadelphia, Bala Cynwyd, Merion Station, Darby, Wynnewood, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, Narberth, Folcroft, Cheltenham, Clifton Heights, Lansdowne, Glenolden, Drexel Hill, Elkins Park, Havertown, Norwood, Ardmore, Holmes, Essington, Wyncote, Prospect Park, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County.