Insecure Communities: How an Immigration Enforcement Program Encourages Battered Women to Stay Silent

30 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2011 Last revised: 11 Mar 2016

Date Written: October 9, 2011

Abstract

Domestic violence is a pervasive problem in American society. Undocumented immigrant women suffer disproportionately from spousal abuse due to language and cultural barriers. Undocumented domestic violence victims often do not know how or where to seek help and fear deportation. That fear is not unfounded because Secure Communities, a new immigration enforcement program run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) requires participating local law enforcement agencies to cross-check fingerprints with a federal immigration database. Individuals that are matched and considered removable are subject to removal proceedings through ICE. This program makes undocumented immigrant women less likely to call for help because of the risk of being fingerprinted and then deported. This Note argues that ICE should provide protection to victims of domestic violence.

Suggested Citation

Vishnuvajjala, Radha, Insecure Communities: How an Immigration Enforcement Program Encourages Battered Women to Stay Silent (October 9, 2011). Boston College Journal of Law & Social Justice, Vol. 32, No. 1, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1941343

Radha Vishnuvajjala (Contact Author)

Boston College - Law School ( email )

885 Centre Street
Newton, MA 02459-1163
United States

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