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Domestic violence is a pervasive problem in American society. Undocumented immigrant women suffer disproportionately from spousal abuse due to language and cultural barriers. Undocumented domestic violence victims often do not know how or where to seek help and fear deportation. That fear is not unfounded because Secure Communities, an immigration enforcement program run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, requires participating local law enforcement agencies to crosscheck fingerprints with a federal immigration database. Individuals that are matched and considered removable are subject to removal proceedings. Secure Communities makes undocumented immigrant women less likely to call for help because of the risk of being fingerprinted and then deported. This Note argues for a three-step process to provide protection for victims of domestic violence.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
7 Sep 2022
239 kB



  • Subject
    • Gender

    • Immigration Law

  • Journal title
    • Boston College Journal of Law & Social Justice

  • Volume
    • 32

  • Issue
    • 1

  • Date submitted

    7 September 2022