Pro Bono News

For Immigrant Women, Crossing the Border Doesn't End Their Struggle

Thursday, March 22, 2018

For Immigrant Women, Crossing the Border Doesn't End Their Struggle

"any women crossing the border into the United States today are fleeing unimaginable trauma in their home countries, but they’re finding no relief once they make it here. Seeking refuge, they’re instead plunged into the black hole of Trump’s terrifying bureaucracy.

The advocacy group Tahirih’s report on the state of migrant women in this country reveals the struggles of people who are both continually forgotten and constantly targeted. Forgotten because immigrant women live with exploitation and abuse every day, although their frequently unpaid labor forms the backbone of a shadow economy. They’re targeted by the constant threat of deportation, for anything from a traffic violation to having their rape story disbelieved by a skeptical immigration officer.

“When someone arrives at our borders and legally asks for asylum…and that request is met with detention in a prison setting, [that] in and of itself is very traumatizing,” says Katharina Obser of Women’s Refugee Commission. But that trauma continues when women are subjected to abuse and violent attacks while incarcerated. Research and service providers’ reports have repeatedly documented “pervasive” abuse in immigration detention, despite detention’s being technically considered to be not a punitive but a civil legal measure..."

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