Editorial: Don’t Fear Reporting Crimes if You’re Undocumented

A person’s legal status in the U.S. shouldn’t stop them from reporting a crime for fear of deportation. Being a victim of domestic abuse or sexual assault shouldn’t stop anyone from reporting it because it’s the police’s job to “protect and serve.”

There has been a decline in the amount of reports made by Latinos by 25% in sexual assault and a decline of 10% in reports made due to domestic abuse, since the beginning of this year according to nydailynews.com since the beginning of this year.

Hearing about women dropping court cases because they’re scared of being reported as undocumented by their abuser is truly heartbreaking because they are left without bringing their attacker to justice. These women continue to live their lives feeling wronged as well as leave criminals on the streets to prey on other potential victims.

Why shouldn’t these people receive any justice for the wrongs they’ve experienced? How can we feel safe if these crimes go unreported?

Our police departments and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement are both security departments made to keep the people safe. So why is it that they spread fear among undocumented people?

No man, woman or child should be afraid to step forward to ask for help. It’s hard enough for people who are here legally to do so and have to live with the helpless and dirty feeling that their assailant leave them with.

It’s in society’s best interest to have judges hear these cases and reports, as it would probably reduce the number of crimes by keeping potential criminals wary of getting caught.

If you are a victim of domestic abuse or sexual assault, you are protected by the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), regardless of age, gender or immigration status. VAWA offers victims the protection of shelters and restraining orders from their abusers as well as a safe place to seek help.

If you are in an abusive situation, seek help! Contact the National Domestic Violence at 1-800-799-7233.