Four women in Denver, CO made headlines when they decided to drop their domestic violence cases in fear of being arrested in court for being undocumented. Under the newly stressed immigration laws brought into focus by President Donald Trump, these women feared that they would cause unwanted attention to their status and to that of their families.
Although immigration was always a pre-existing issue in America, the new policies that resulted from President Trump’s executive travel ban order have severely affected both individuals seeking asylum or refuge in the states, as well as those who are already living within the borders.
“I at least think they should have the chance to have their cases settled before any action is taken,” said Nathan Roscoe, freshman, when asked about the circumstances of the undocumented women. “These women were violently assaulted by their romantic peers [inside of America] and yet, they cannot receive any justice. They are at risk of being assaulted again without consequence.”
“I feel like the priority of our legal system should be the safety of the people who live here, even if they are undocumented,” said Ka Lynn Robinson, junior. “It is extremely sad that women have to constantly choose other things over their well being, or in this case, having to choose their residency over their safety.”
According to sources, the women became frightened days after filing their domestic abuse claims, when they viewed a video of a man being deported during a routine hearing. In the wake of the President’s orders, Immigration officers have become increasingly vigorous with their arrests. Women affected are becoming more afraid of deportation than they are about their own health and their abusers.
“I think it is unethical that these women have to set aside their safety in order to keep themselves and their families in this country,” said Talia Bernardo, freshman.
As a nation, where will we stand? Will we stand on the side of safety, or the side of fear? Rape victims, assault victims and abuse victims are afraid of coming forward because they do not have a home to retreat to.
For these women, ll sense of security will be lost if they decide to pursue their cases. By not pursuing their cases, however, these women risk their own lives.
By refraining to come forward with domestic abuse claims, the behaviors of the abusers are enabled and encouraged to continue. In a time in which women and their contributions to society are to be celebrated, these four women are being forced to either withdraw their claims and welcome continued abuse, or pack their belongings, say goodbye to their kids and leave their life of security.
The opinions expressed in this article are that of the reporter.