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Domestic violence victims dropping cases due to ICE raids

On Behalf of | Mar 28, 2017 | Domestic Violence

California residents may be interested to learn that four women who accused their spouses of domestic abuse have dropped their cases as they fear they could be detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement if they show up to court. According to reports, ICE agents have been using this tactic to apprehend undocumented immigrants.
One case that was highlighted was that of a transgender El Paso woman who had gone to court to get a protective order. She was taken into custody while she was at the courthouse. It was suggested that immigration agents had gotten an anonymous tip about the woman from her alleged abuser.
The chief justice of the California Supreme Court has stated that this tactic could discourage individuals from seeking justice if they were the victim of a crime or speaking out if they have witnessed a crime. Further, a Denver city attorney stated that victims of violent crimes are afraid to testify, preventing her office’s ability to obtain convictions. She also argued that courthouses should be spaces where ICE agents are not allowed to take individuals into custody, like churches, schools and hospitals, without getting prior approval.
When people are the victims of domestic abuse, an attorney may be able to assist with filing a protective order to help them protect themselves from another person who may be emotionally, physically or sexually abusing them. While the attorney can assist with the process of seeking a temporary protective order, legal counsel may also be able to help make the protective order permanent if the victim is facing long-term harassment.