Fear of deportation is on the rise for many Americans, and for good reason: the government has recently cracked down on sanctuary cities and increased deportation raids that target predominantly Latino neighborhoods. But that’s not the only way authorities are finding undocumented immigrants now — one woman was arrested in a courthouse in El Paso, Texas, where she had gone to seek a protective order for domestic abuse.
The El Paso Times reported that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had received a tip from an unidentified source, though Attorney Jo Anne Bernal believes it was the woman’s boyfriend and alleged abuser who had tipped off authorities. He was recently jailed on a charge of forgery of a financial document, the criminal complaint states.
#ICERaids across the country have torn mothers apart from their children. The raids lack transparency, spread fear & harm public safety.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) February 12, 2017
Bernal doesn’t ask after her clients’ immigration status, believing it to be unnecessary.
“Our clients come to us at the lowest point in their lives,” Bernal said. “Many of them are so frightened of coming to us because of possible immigration concerns.”
This is probably not the last of stories like this. President Trump recently signed several executive orders that expanded the authority ICE officers have and dramatically increased the efforts to detain and deport undocumented immigrants. Still, some people are hopeful that incidents like these will be coming to an end.
“We are hopeful that this is an isolated incident and that this never happens again,” Bernal said.