Fear of Deportation Often Keeps Undocumented Victims of Domestic Violence Silent

Despite that immigration status is legally irrelevant to obtaining emergency medical assistance, emergency shelter, to getting a protective order or custody or a divorce
News Story (Texas)

Erin Stone
Dallas Observer
September 12, 2016

Tags: Deportation, Domestic Violence

Organizations mentioned/involved: Texas Civil Rights Project


Local and statewide grassroots efforts like TCRP’s Immigrant Services Program are also making strides in providing more resources for immigrant victims and bridging the gap between the undocumented community and law enforcement in Texas.

Not only does the Immigrant Victims Services Program provide legal counsel for victims, but they also spend much of their time educating law enforcement and building partnerships with local shelters in the communities they serve.

“We’re in a unique position to help build bridges between the law enforcement community and communities that otherwise may be too afraid to report crime,” said O’Neil. “To encourage them to overcome that fear. … [Law enforcement’s] expertise is in combating crime, not enforcing federal immigration or dealing with federal immigration rules. So making sure they understand that immigrants do have resources if they do come forward, I think takes that load off local law enforcement and allows them to focus on the violent crime that they’re trying to deal with. The law enforcement agencies I work with really just want to put these abusers behind bars.”