Woman calls police on abusive partner, now faces deportation

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Maria Bolanos called the police hoping for protection from her abusive partner. Instead of getting protection, she was arrested by the responding officer and charged with a dubious crime of illegally selling a $10 phone card.

The charge was dropped, but the damage was irreparable–her fingerprints were taken and given to ICE, who then found her to be in the country illegally.

Now she is likely to be deported. It doesn’t take much intellectual rigor to figure out the problem here. Think for a moment. Think of the word “impunity”.

The threat of deportation will dissuade women who are victims of domestic abuse to seek protection from the police. Thus, many perpetrators of assault, battery, kidnapping, and even murder will be free to do as they please, knowing that their victim cannot or believes they cannot get help.

In essence, secure communities–a program in which every law enforcement agency will soon have to share the identity of those arrested with ICE–mandates that ICE’s priority of enforcing misdemeanor immigration violations  is more important than preventing felonious crimes such as assault, battery, kidnapping, and murder.

The blatant wrongness of this is unsettling to say the least. That neither Republicans or Democrats are doing anything to stem the impunity that flows from programs such as secure communities is a damning indictment of  the United States’ record on human rights.

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