This story caught my attention yesterday while listening to the morning news.
A current issue in Washington, D.C. is one we are likely to face in different cities nationwide. As the federal government takes action against illegal immigration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) works with local law enforcement agencies to use arrest records to check for undocumented immigrants. ‘Secure Communities’ is aimed at deporting criminals who are undocumented immigrants.
The story addresses the resulting problem of ‘Secure Communities’ of further silencing victims of domestic abuse who are also undocumented immigrants because they do not want to risk deportation themselves.
The article explains that in many reported cases of domestic abuse the victim and abuser are initially arrested until law enforcers fully address the situation to identify what happened and who was at fault.
(also availabe in Spanish)
This further complicates victims of sexual assault, who are also undocumented immigrants, from reporting these crimes and getting help. The obstacles that already exist for these women include limited English language skills and lack of knowledge of the resources available to them. All of these, including fear caused by ‘Secure Communities’ then become a factor abusive partners can use to keep power over the victim.
Does your town or city participate in ‘Secure Communities’? How did your community react to the policy? Or, how do you think this would affect your community?