The debate on current immigration legislation is regaining momentum this year. On Wednesday, April 10, immigration reform activists held rallies on a National Day of Action to protest the mass deportations of undocumented immigrants carried out by the Obama administration. W.O.M.A.N., Inc. was represented at the San Francisco rally by Volunteer Coordinator Lily Krutel and Latina Program Assistant Catherine Connor-Moore, who carried signs voicing support of immigrant survivors of domestic violence and objecting to the controversial Secure Communities deportation program, under which 134,378 immigrants were deported between 2008 and 2011. Although S-Comm’s stated purpose is to deport immigrants guilty of serious crimes, 74% of those deported were convicted of misdemeanors or not at all, including many erroneously detained survivors of domestic violence.
While the arguments against S-Comm are numerous, the effect the program has had on domestic violence survivors is one of primary concern for W.O.M.A.N., Inc. and our clients. Fear of contact with law enforcement and consequential detention by Immigration and Customs Enforcement dissuades many survivors from calling the police to report their abusers, leading to a lack of repercussions for abusers and the perpetuation of domestic violence in our community. W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s mission is to empower survivors to lead violence-free lives, and Secure Communities has proven to be a barrier to this goal for countless immigrant survivors. Please join W.O.M.A.N., Inc. in supporting immigrant survivors by demanding the reform of national immigration policies.