United States, 27th February: Let us see what Trump’s immigration policies mean for domestic violence victims on Marriage-based visa to USA. Generally, Domestic abuse victims prefer to remain silent due to the fear of deportation due to lack of knowledge of immigration rules.
What Trump’s Immigration Polices Mean for Domestic Violence Victims on marriage-based visa to USA?
Trump’s immigration policies are hurting domestic abuse victims in particular. This includes victims of sexual assault, harassment or any other gender-based violence.
It becomes clear from a recent example of the arrest of a domestic violence victim in El Paso, Texas last week. She was seeking a protective order. Although, she successfully got it from the court but she was detained by a team of officials from ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).
They detained her for being in the US unlawfully. As per Jo Anne Bernal, the El Paso county Attorney, ICE agents might have been tipped off by the man accused by the victim of abusing her.
Domestic abuse victims on Marriage-based visa in USA afraid of reporting
Most of the times, majority of domestic abuse victims are afraid to report the abuse just because of the fear of getting detained and also inviting unwanted attention from law enforcement officials in the US. This puts them on an increased risk of getting abused continuously.
Victims of Domestic Violence in US can speak out- Not Suffer Silently
Special protections available for domestic abuse victims on marriage-based visa–It may be noted that special protections are written into the VAWA(Violence Against Women Act) for safeguarding the domestic violence victims against deportation. Under these instructions, undocumented immigrants fulfilling a set of conditions can get U Nonimmigrant status or U visa. This special visa enables them get protected from law enforcement officials and allows them to get lawful US permanent residence later.
Related Read—How to Report the Domestic Violence case where the Person Sponsoring you is himself an abuser
These protections provide separation between local police and immigration enforcement so that cops can trust their communities and enable victims to report such abuse.
Indian girls, who marry USA citizens, when abused by US husbands, can apply for citizenship and get divorced.
All such above mentioned examples clearly focus on the hard fact that many women prefer to stay trapped in abusive relationships just to avoid getting caught by law enforcement officials resulting in ultimate deportation.
As per a study, just 6.9 percent of Latinx immigrants had sought help from federal agencies for domestic violence. For non-immigrants, the ratio is more than double at 14.7 percent.
Domestic abuse victims on Marriage-based visa more vulnerable to domestic violence
As per the DHS’ USCIS(US Citizenship and Immigration Services), domestic violence victims prefer to remain in abusive relationships due to the following–
- Immigrants are more vulnerable to domestic violence since they don’t speak English;
- They are separated from their friends and relatives;
- They don’t understand the US laws;
- They are threatened by their partner of destroying the legal documents or papers, withdrawing or refusing to file papers for US residency and thus preventing victims from learning English language.
- Women having children are more vulnerable to domestic abuse for the fear of getting separated from their children. And Trump administration’s recent immigration policies have revealed that it won’t have any problem in breaking the families apart.
Under Current Scenario- Victims of Domestic Violence may feel threatened for deportation
The message being conveyed by latest Trump immigration policies is quite clear. US immigration status is going to take precedence over the protection and safety of women who are victims of domestic violence. In such a scenario, majority of domestic violence victims will have to choose abuse, when faced with abuse or deportation.