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The Unique Ways That U.S. Immigration Laws Affect Migrant Women

The traditional conservative argument against illegal immigration has always been laden with hints of racist rhetoric. Here and there you would find an unnatural fear of cultural erasure for whites, yet this extremism was somewhat kept under the surface. With the President using terms like “rapists,” “murderers,” and “invaders” to describe Mexican immigrants, conservatives have become more blatantly radicalized. Many agreed that the El Paso shooting earlier this month exemplified that radical white supremacists now feel emboldened to act due to hateful words espoused by President Trump.

This brings us to the topic of border detainment for those trying to enter America without the proper paperwork. Members of congress such as Alexandria Ocassio-Cortez have spoken out about the nature of border detainment centers and referred to them as “concentration camps.” Public figures like Stephen Colbert and Joe Rogan have spoken up about the immoral nature of separating children from parents. Yet despite these examples, there is an aspect of the situation not being addressed by the mainstream media: the unique way in which U.S. immigration laws and the current work of ICE is affecting migrant women.

Conversations around the importance of immigration may have suppressed the story, but the truth is brutal. If we want to understand the far-reaching consequences of the GOP’s immigration policies, we can start by understanding its effects on women.

Proper Treatment Within Facilities

Public outrage is not impactful on situations within detainment centers. This could be due to growing paranoia that Democrats are using illegal immigration to grow their voter numbers. This talking point suppresses outrage and contributes to polarization. Those who speak up may be written off as merely part of the “extreme left.”

Yet prior to the ICE crackdowns, there were provisions in which non-citizen immigrants could seek healthcare. Their lives still seemed to matter, especially the lives of migrant women. As explained by Fiscal Tiger, “undocumented immigrants can be eligible for emergency Medicaid as well as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) programs. There are also state-level programs that undocumented immigrants might be eligible for.”

While these provisions are still in effect, it does not seem that they are being carried out or offered to those within detainment centers. With the recent deaths of two Salvadorians within the border detainment facilities (one of which was a transgender migrant woman), we see this empathy gone. ICE has never been completely truthful about the amount of people dying within their detainment centers. However, these recent examples may be representative of the attitude held by our government right now.

Wrestling With Abuse

Associate UCLA Professor Randall Akee wrote a troubling piece this last June concerning the effects of ICE’s actions on migrant women who experienced abuse. Pulling from a study by Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes and Esther Arenas-Arroyo, Akee discussed the importance of a clause in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) which allowed undocumented immigrant victims of abuse to be protected. But the study revealed that the number of women reporting abuse had diminished.

Previously, undocumented women and their children were also able to seek permanent resident status through the VAWA provision. This helped them get legal coverage and protection against their abusers. However, the study in question pointed to migrant women being fearful of applying for green cards and correlated this to recent detainments and deportations.

Summarizing the research, Akee wrote, “In effect, victims of domestic violence are fearful of speaking up or seeking relief from their abusers; they are condemned to endure their abuse for fear of deportation or detention.” According to his research, it doesn’t seem that there is another reason for the numbers of green card petitioners to decrease.

These impacts can lead to increased rates of homelessness for undocumented immigrants, which carries its own risks. In addition to leaving women open to violence and abuse, inadequate resources and stigmatization often lead to mental illness, imposing yet greater burdens on those affected.

The Oppression of Mothers

Despite the many statistics and success stories that prove immigrants are actually good for the economy, the United States has recently been denying more asylum claims. In addition to this, they ended the DACA, which allowed permits for children of undocumented immigrants to be able to stay in the country. Separating children from their families has had particularly devastating consequences.

Activist Michelle Angela Ortiz recently created the documentary entitled “Las Madres de Berks,” about four undocumented mothers who were all once detained at Berks County Residential Center in Philadelphia. The jail held the mothers and their children for different amounts of time respectfully. Ortiz described them to news sources as “heroines.”

The Inquirer, upon reporting on the documentary, offered a spoiler that showed the severe effect of these detainments.

“How do the [four] mothers’ stories end?,” the author posited. “One was deported. One is dead, fleeing violence in her homeland only to find it in her home in this country, stabbed to death last year at age 25 in a family dispute. Two have been released and live freely, fulfilling mandatory check-ins with ICE as their legal cases go forward.”

The way that immigration laws are affecting women must be taken into account to understand the consequences of GOP policies. With the facts showing that immigrants are not taking jobs but rather propelling the economy forward, inhumane policies are not quantifiable and should not be justified. Considering the amount of people dying or suffering at the hands of these immigration laws, a more humanist approach is necessary.

Posted by jhamilton at August 19, 2019 7:12 PM
Comment #447576
jhamilton wrote:Public outrage is not impactful on situations within detainment centers. This could be due to growing paranoia that Democrats are using illegal immigration to grow their voter numbers.
That’s because it is TRUE. The Democrats ARE (despicably) using illegal immigration to increase their electoral votes, because the decennial census does not verify citizenship. Democrats are despicably pitting U.S. citizens and non-citizens against each other for more votes, money, and power.
jhamilton wrote: With the President using terms like “rapists,” “murderers,” and “invaders” to describe Mexican immigrants, conservatives have become more blatantly radicalized. Many agreed that the El Paso shooting earlier this month exemplified that radical white supremacists now feel emboldened to act due to hateful words espoused by President Trump.
That’s all nonsense and lies.
Trump also said that some “are good people” too.
Trump said:“They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.”
It is Interesting how that part of Trump’s sentence was so-conveniently omitted.
Trump’s statement was quite simply a factual statement. Nothing more.
It is verifiable and TRUE that many non-citizens ARE criminals, and some of the ample proof of that is over 2,000 homicides per year by criminal non-citizens (homicide rates that are higher than U.S. citizen homicide rates in states with high numbers of illegal immigrants), and the monetary costs due to illegal immigration are over $0.75 BILLION per day.

A new report from the Department of Justice shows that crime by non-citizens is more than U.S. citizens (especially in border states and sanctuary states):

FEDERAL ARRESTS (DOJ Bureau of Justice Statistics):

  • 1998: 37% ____________ 63%
  • 2018: 64% ____________ 36%
The big lie by many Democrats for many years is that non-citizens commit fewer crimes, but that is false, because:
  • current statistics show higher crime rates by non-citizens than U.S citizens;
  • Democrats averaged crime across ALL 50 states, but 97.4% of all non-citizens reside in only 10 states (CA,TX,FL,NY,IL,NJ,GA,NC,AZ,VA), and 40% in only 2 states (CA,TX); mostly border states and sanctuary states;
  • there has been little, or no reporting on any of these victims of crime by criminal non-citizens;
I don’t think the majority of voters are believing the Democrats’ lies, and despicable behavior any longer, and it is clearer than ever now what the Democrats’ true ulterior motive is.

Posted by: d.a.n at August 23, 2019 7:27 AM
Comment #447583

jhamilton seems to ignore all the instigation going on by Democratics. Antifa are assaulting innocent pedestrians. Did Trump provoke that? No, I think Maxine Waters did.

I wonder why jhamilton doesn’t call out the violence on the left and tag a Democratic with causing it. I seem to recall a maniac shooting up a baseball game and no one blamed Pelosi or Sanders or Waters or Booker. They all preach unity and understanding and all the other faux platitudes they spew when they are on the wrong end of the news cycle.

Democratics are quick to label Republicans and Conservatives as hate mongers, but they’re incredibly stoic about violence they gin up by themselves. I wonder how brave Democratics would be if the media was dominated by the Right and blame were rightfully being placed on the left!

Posted by: Weary Willie at August 23, 2019 11:43 AM
Comment #447584

I always believed Democrats were wrong on many issues, but today, I believe Democrats are wrong on most issues, and increasingly (if not almost completely) out-of-control, and will not hesitate to stoop to any low for more votes, money, and power.

Posted by: d.a.n at August 23, 2019 2:29 PM
Comment #447585

I don’t believe the vast majority of the so-called compassion for illegal immigrants is genuine (severely misplaced, even if it is genuine).

I believe the calls for “open-borders”, abolishing ice, decriminalizing illegal immigration, and ALL of THIS is for more votes, money, and power (because the decennial census does not verify citizenship).

Hopefully, the majority of U.S. voters see through the Democrats’ scam and lies,
despite the Democrats trying to bribe voters with all sorts of free stuff and ridiculous stuff:

  • a free income;
  • promises of free college tuition;
  • promises of free college for non-citizens also;
  • already, some sanctuary states give free tuition or in-state college tuition to non-citizens, but charge higher college tuition rates for out-of-state citizens;
  • promises to eliminate all college loan debt;
  • promises of free healthcare (including free healthcare for non-citizens);
  • promises of free day care for children;
  • promises to allow non-citizens to vote;
  • promises to allow people to vote at age 16;
  • promises to allow non-citizens to be counted in decennial CENSUS (which can increase the number of electoral votes for states with large numbers of non-citizens, since the decennial CENSUS does not verify citizenship); there is a reason why California is a sanctuary state with about 3 Million illegal immigrants;
  • promises to allow convicted and incarcerated felons to vote (including murderers, rapists, pedophiles, etc.);
  • promises of reparations for black people (punishing others that had nothing to do with slavery, which was abolished 154 years ago in 1865);
  • promises to promote sanctuary cities and states; promises of another amnesty like the shamnesty of 1986; promises of open-borders, while conveniently ignore 2,000 homicides per year by criminal non-citizens (source:;
  • promises to abolish I.C.E. and BCP (Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection);
  • promises to refuse any legislation to:
    • (a) require employers to use eVerify (to verify eligibility for employment);
    • (b) to stop the abuse of asylum laws;
    • (c) and stop the abuse of birth-right citizenship (women from all over the world are booking vacations to the U.S. to give birth, so that their child will have U.S. citizenship; 70% of births at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, TX are by illegal immigrants);
  • promises to give illegal immigrants drivers’ licenses, and also automatically register them to vote; illegal voting by non-citizens is widespread in all states;
  • promises of statehood for Puerto Rico and D.C.;
  • promises to change the number of Supreme Court justices with hopes of packing the court with more extremists like themselves;
  • promises to restrict or eliminate 2nd Amendment rights, and say it is worth it “even if it saves only ONE life”, but hypocritically ignore 2,000 homicides per year by criminal non-citizens, and the many tens of thousands of victims of crime by criminal non-citizens (sources: ; ), not to mention losses of $300 Billion (or more) per year due to illegal immigration.

Posted by: d.a.n at August 23, 2019 2:40 PM
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