Immigrants are reporting domestic violence at lower rates than they were prior to President Donald Trump’s election, the New York Times reported Sunday, a trend law enforcement officials attributed to Trump’s insistence on increased deportations and the strict enforcement of immigration rules.
“Undocumented immigrants and even lawful immigrants are afraid to report crime,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo told the Times.
Acevedo’s city, which has a large undocumented population, saw 6,273 domestic violence reports from Hispanic residents in 2017, versus 7,460 in 2016, the Times reported.
The Times reported similar declines in domestic violence and sexual assault reports by Hispanics in other cities with large undocumented populations: Los Angeles, Denver and San Diego.
The Los Angeles Times reported in October that “reports of domestic violence have declined among Latino residents in some of California’s largest cities.”
The Times also noted a survey by the ACLU and the National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project: “82 percent of prosecutors,” according to the groups, “reported that since President Trump took office, domestic violence is now underreported and harder to investigate and/or prosecute.”
TPM reported last year on the case of Irvin Gonzalez, an undocumented transgender woman who was arrested inside the El Paso County Courthouse shortly after seeking protection from an abusive boyfriend. One of Gonzalez’s attorneys, Melissa Untereker, alleged that Gonzalez’s abusive boyfriend tipped off authorities to her court date, leading to her arrest.
Read the Times’ full report here.