Immigrant Victims Need Comprehensive Immigration Reform

GwenMoore_Official_Headshot (1)
Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.)

In an ongoing push this week to recognize the role of women and the potential benefits immigration reform represents, Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) is circulating her own letter to her House colleagues. Moore’s letter focuses attention on domestic violence involving immigrant women. In its current form, our broken immigration system often puts immigrant women who have endured domestic abuse at risk of detention and deportation, strikes fear in their hearts, and keeps them in the shadows, subject to further abuse.

Thank you, Rep. Moore for standing up for immigration reform and for all survivors of domestic violence, regardless of their immigration status!

Read the whole letter below:

Keep up with the latest from UnidosUS

Sign up for the weekly UnidosUS Action Network newsletter delivered every Thursday.

Our Broken Immigration System Exposes Women to Abuse

Dear Colleague:

Our broken immigration system traps immigrant women in violent relationships and makes them vulnerable to abusive partners. This is just one of the many reasons why I believe immigration reform is a women’s issue and why women across America should be united in demanding action in the House of Representatives.

In numerous cases, police responding to incidents of domestic violence involving immigrant women have arrested both the abuser and the victim, or only the victim. When police officers fail to obtain qualified interpreters and use the perpetrator or his family members to interpret, the result is too often the victim’s arrest. Then, under a program called “Secure Communities,” the victim’s fingerprints have been shared with our federal immigration authorities. Tragically, as a result of this misguided program, many of these women have subsequently been detained and later deported.

This is completely unacceptable. Instead of protecting vulnerable victims, our broken immigration system continues to permanently separate immigrant mothers from their children and their families. As a result, far too many women in our country are wary of law enforcement and fearful of seeking help if they become victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or other crimes.

By enabling immigrant women to come out of the shadows, comprehensive immigration reform will reduce the vulnerabilities that expose them to abuse. No longer will they be forced to weigh the fear of an abuser against the fear of deportation in deciding whether to contact law enforcement to seek help after suffering domestic violence, sexual assault, or human trafficking. No longer will abusers be able to silence their victims simply by threatening to expose their immigration status.

Women across the country are tired of excuses and inaction. They believe the time has come to reform our immigration system in a way that protects and empowers women. I hope you’ll join me in fighting for truly comprehensive immigration reform.


Gwen Moore

You might also be interested in: