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NNEDV condemns ICE detention of immigrant victim of domestic violence

February 16, 2017

In El Paso, TX, a victim of domestic violence was seeking an order of protection from her abusive boyfriend when she was arrested in court by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers, acting on a tip regarding her whereabouts. The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) condemns ICE’s actions, and warns that the implications could be deadly for victims of domestic violence who are undocumented and fear reporting abuse.

“Today, ICE officers in El Paso confirmed our worst fears about the administration’s increased and aggressive tactics against immigrants – that survivors of violence will be further silenced and harmed,” said Kim Gandy, NNEDV President and CEO.

Perpetrators of domestic violence often use victims’ undocumented immigration status as a tactic of abuse – threatening to report them to ICE and have them deported, separating them from their citizen children.

“Victims of domestic violence have to feel safe coming forward for protection from abuse or countless victims will go deeper into the shadows, fearing deportation,” said Gandy. “Otherwise perpetrators abuse with impunity and our communities are less safe.”

NNEDV joins allies across the country in calling on the federal government to swiftly condemn ICE’s action in this case. Without swift condemnation from the Administration, this case may set a dangerous precedent and further silence and marginalize victims of violence. NNEDV urges the federal government and Congressional leaders to demonstrate their support for survivors of violence by keeping the pathway to safety unimpeded for all survivors.