Excerpt from ASISTA article, “What Can Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Organizations Do to Help Immigrant Survivors Affected by “Secure Communities” and Related Immigration Enforcement Programs?”
What is the impact on community policing?
Law enforcement officials and civil rights organizations across the country have raised serious concerns that Secure Communities, and other laws like it blur the lines between local law enforcement and immigration enforcement, encourage racial profiling, and lead to pretextual arrests for minor offenses (such as traffic violations). These programs threaten public safety and undermine community policing initiatives by eroding the trust of community members. Also, when law enforcement doesn’t help immigrants–exposing them to ICE instead-they are failing in their duty to provide justice and protect the safety of all people in the U.S., regardless of immigration status.
What is the potential impact on immigrant victims of violence?
Local law enforcement entanglement with ICE puts survivors of domestic violence (DV) and sexual assault (SA) at increased risk in situations such as:
• Dual arrests (arresting both people), particularly where language is a barrier
• Perpetrators calling the police on unfounded allegations in order to expose victims to ICE
• Victims who run the risk of getting arrested for driving without a license (when an abusive spouse who is a citizen or legal permanent resident has refused to legalize their immigration status)
• Local law enforcement entering victims’ fingerprints into the FBI/ICE database because they either incorrectly think they must, because they fail to adequately determine that the person is a victim, or because they think being in the United States without documents is a crime (it is not) and fail to follow ICE prioritization standards
Read more in the ASISTA article