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Community Problem Report: Abused Immigrant Women Fear Deportation

The University of Texas at El Paso
RWS 1301
November 1, 2015
Stephanie Ibaven


Abused immigrant women live in constant fear. The fear of their partners constant
beating is their biggest issue but it becomes worse when their partners threaten them with calling
immigration. Many women come to this country to provide money for their families. Many of
[Untitled photograph of an abused
women]. Retrieved from

them leave their home countries obligated

because they cannot find jobs that give them
enough profit to sustain their families. Leaving
their children behind is the most difficult
decision they can make, but they leave them
because they believe by sending them money
their life will be much better. Unfortunately this
belief quickly changes once their partner

transforms into someone they never thought possible; a heartless man that will do anything to
make sure his partner will not leave him. Women face a lot of danger by staying with their
abusers because they do not know of the many resources they have to escape their situation.
Daily Beatings
A daily routine for any women may consist of applying makeup, choosing an outfit for
the office and going to work, but unfortunately for many immigrant women this never happens.
Female immigrant workers only consist of 7 percent the U.S. workers (Ariel G. Ruiz, 2015). The
jobs they can have are very limited because many of the women come with zero to minimal
English capabilities. This situation of low income can cause friction in the household. This
friction may lead up to beatings and even death 48% of Latinas reported that their partner's
violence against them had increased since they immigrated to the United States (Mary Dutton,


2000). As if the journey immigrant women had to go through to come to this country was not
difficult enough already, their partners began to abuse them. Daily beatings were things they got
used to happening to them, and if that was not enough they would threaten them with
deportation. Pamela Constable (2012) writes that Fitzgerald stated, In many cases, the threat of
deportation is part of the abuse (para. 7). Women feel as if they are trapped because they fear
that police will send them back to their country. They feel alone and desperate because they are
in a situation they do not see a way of escaping from.
They Are Not Alone
[Untitled banner of the Dont Let Yourself campaign]. Retrieved from


What many of the victims do not know is that help exists for them that will prevent them
from getting deported. Domestic violence is something they can escape from by going to
shelters. These shelters, such as Las Americas located in El Paso Texas, were created to defend
those who believe they do not have a voice. There they help them see all of the opportunities
available to them to escape their abusers.
Programs such as the VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) were created to ensure the
safety of these victims. The VAWA is a way for victims to file for residency. Anyone that is
endangered, a child, a spouse and even a parent can apply for this program. The web page of the
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has a list of all the requirements that a victim should
meet in order to file the VAWA. Another solution that is available to them is the U- Visa that will
grant them residency as long as they cooperate to catch their abuser which will open a new future
for them.
Life after Hell
By applying for the U-Visa they are able to apply for the visa without their partners being
aware of this. The U-Visa provides for victims the opportunity of bringing their children from
their home country. Another benefit they have is it provides them with residency and a place to
live. By having the most important reason that they left their country with them is a strong reason
for them to seek job opportunities.
Battered women have always been silenced by society because it is a problem that people
tend to diminish because they do not understand the severity of this issue. For immigrant women
this creates a lot of fear in them because they do not know who to trust to get out of their


situation. Although many opportunities were created to ensure the well-being of abused
immigrant women, there is not a lot of propaganda of these programs. Programs such as the UVisa and the VAWA are not spoken about a lot, making it very difficult for an immigrant woman
to find out all the help out there for them. Shelters and other organizations that serve to protect
women could benefit from social media to expand knowledge to those who are endangered.
Although we are in a world full of technology sometimes the right information does not get
shared enough.


American Bar Association. Domestic Violence Statistics. Survey of Recent
Statistics. Retrieved from
Constable, P. (2012) For battered immigrant women, fear of deportation

abusers weapon. Washington Post, Retrieved



Gomez-Horton, L (2012) TCRP Promotora Programs Build Advocates From Victims. Texas Civil
Rights Project. Retrieved from
Orloff, L. (2002) Women Immigrants and Domestic Violence. Women Immigrants in the United
States (pp. 47-51) Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Paat, Y. (2014) Risk and Resilience of Immigrant Women in Intimate Partner Violence. Journal
of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 24(7), 725-740 doi:
Ruiz A. G. & Zong J. & Betalova J. (2015) Immigrant Women in the United States. Retrieved
Serna, H. (2012). Domestic violence, border control measures, and its effects on the immigrant
population in the border region (Order No. 1518232). Available from Dissertations &
Theses @ University of Texas - El Paso; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global.
(1039150841). Retrieved from
U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (2015, June 18) Battered Spouse, Children and
Parents. Retrieved from