Immigrant Women in Texas and California Aren't Reporting Rape Out of Fear of Deportation

Immigrant Women in Texas and California Aren't Reporting Rape Out of Fear of Deportation
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Legal officials in Los Angeles and Houston have reported a decline in Latinxs reporting rapes, and they believe it's due to fears over the Trump administration's hardline immigration policies.

MORE: These Women Are Dropping Their Domestic Abuse Cases in Fear of Deportation

According to Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, rape reports by Latinxs are down by 42.8 percent since last year. Similarly, reports of other violent crimes by the group are down by 13 percent.

“When you see this type of data, and what looks like the beginnings of people not reporting crime, we should all be concerned,” Acevedo said during a press conference on Wednesday. “A person that rapes or violently attacks or robs an undocumented immigrant is somebody that is going to harm a natural born citizen or lawful resident.”

Similarly, last month, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said there was a 25 percent drop in reports of rapes from Latinxs in his area from 2016.

“Imagine a young woman — imagine your daughter, sister, mother, your friend — not reporting a sexual assault because they are afraid that their family will be torn apart,” Beck said in a press conference in March.

It’s not only rape, either. In March, we reported that immigrant women in Colorado were dropping domestic violence cases out of similar fears of deportation.

"We had pending cases that we were prosecuting on their behalf and since January 25, the date of the president's executive order [on immigration]. Those four women have let our office know they were not willing to proceed with the case for fear that they would be spotted in the courthouse and deported,” said Denver City Attorney Kristin Bronson.

Sadly, in Trump’s America, there have already been cases where these nightmares came true.

In February, immigration officials arrested a trans woman outside of a Texas courthouse, where she had just been granted a protective order for domestic abuse.

Barbara Hines, a law professor and the former head of the immigration clinic at the University of Texas at Austin, told the Huffington Post that same month that immigrant women will continue to be assaulted in silence if they are fearful of law enforcement.

PLUS: ICE Agents Arrest Trans Domestic Violence Victim in Courthouse Where She Sought Protection

“This is going to make immigrant women fearful of going to the authorities, and it will result in more domestic violence because women will be too afraid to seek protection,” she said.