An undocumented woman in Texas was arrested last week by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after being granted a protective order against her abusive partner.
According to local news site KFOX14, the woman had filed three separate police reports detailing the abuse, one incident of which involved a weapon. Still, immigration agents took advantage of the opportunity to find the victim at the El Paso County Courthouse and arrest her.
County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal said of the arrest, “I’m suspicious that the tip may have come from the abuser, who knew precisely where the victim would be at that time and date, since he had received notice to be in that courtroom as well.” If this is the case, it’s a glimpse at the dangerous ways in which America’s recent immigration acts can be used to control women.
While Bernal hopes this is an isolated and uncommon occurrence, the effects could be felt by other domestic-violence victims. “I think an unfortunate consequence of some of the recent immigration actions that we’ve seen is that victims of all sorts of crimes will be scared to report,” she said, “people whose children might be victimised might even be afraid to report it for fear that the parent could deported."