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Immigration report troubling for victims of domestic violence

Though most immigrants come to this country for a better life, they may not be totally safe. Some immigrants are victims of domestic violence. No one should ever feel unsafe due to threats from someone they love. Unfortunately, this is a reality for far too many immigrants right here in New York. An immigration advocacy group recently released a report noting that there has been a sharp increase in the number of immigrants whose partners have threatened to call Immigration and Customs Enforcement if the immigrant reports abuse.

The group says this rise can be tracked from the start of the current presidential administration, which has advocated a strong stance on illegal immigration. The survey's findings said that the number of cases where an abuser threatens to call ICE as a means of intimidating a victim has shot up by over 78% since 2017. The recent practice of immigrants being arrested at court by ICE officials has influenced victims to not ask law enforcement for assistance in domestic violence situations, so the advocacy group says.

The report also documents a drop in the number of applications for U-visas, which are often used for victims of domestic violence. Another survey claimed that of those who provide legal and advocacy services to immigrants, nearly half report that immigrant victims are afraid to appear in court as a witness against their abusers. Immigration supporters fear that many victims do not feel confident in utilizing their rights as residents of New York state as guaranteed by the state and federal constitutions.

Whether a person is a citizen of the United States or not, no one should ever have to endure abuse. Those who find themselves in a similar situation have certain rights of which they may be unaware. An immigration attorney can be an invaluable resource to anyone who is attempting to leave an abusive relationship, but is concerned about remaining in the country.

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