Immigrant violence victims could be helped by reform

American FlagOne of the many arguments in favor of immigration reform is that the granting of legal status on undocumented immigrants could help to prevent domestic violence as victims would be more willing to seek assistance from law enforcement.  According to the White House blog, domestic violence victims who are immigrants are less likely to seek police assistance or report crimes because of the fear of deportation.

There are significant challenges faced by immigrant victims according to Representative Gwen Moore of Wisconsin.  In many cases both abuser and victim are placed under arrest when police attend a domestic violence call, often because the police do not have an interpreter and are unable to understand the situation because of language barriers.

A number of victims of domestic abuse have their undocumented status used against them by the abuser, who threatens to report them to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services should they try to get help.  Many undocumented immigrants also experience harassment, wage theft sexual abuse and poor working conditions in the workplace, with employers deliberately exploiting them due to their lack of legal work authorization.  A program known as Secure Communities, which forces police to check the fingerprints of arrested immigrants, can also often result in the immigrant victim being deported.

Immigrant rights advocates are leading the charge for reform in order to stop such injustices and many people all over the United States believe that immigrants deserve protection from such abuse and exploitation regardless of their legal status.