Sexual violence survivors deserve safety and protection, regardless of their immigration status. We all know that sexual violence is one of the most under-reported violent crimes. Reporting numbers are even more dire for undocumented survivors, many of whom fear deportation if they come forward to law enforcement. This means that predators are able to abuse and assault people with impunity, knowing their victims are unlikely to report.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) allows recipients some protection from deportation. Young people who have been in the country for years, attended schools or enlisted in the military, and established roots in America could register and come out of the shadows.
While U-visas can still provide some relief for some undocumented people who are victimized (though only 10,000 are issued per year), a repeal of DACA would send a chilling message to victims and entire communities. If we truly want survivors to come forward and offenders to be held accountable for their crimes, we must remove barriers to reporting, including fears of deportation. LaFASA calls on Congress and the president to preserve DACA.