Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.
Sanctuary state and city activists have been demanding that ICE agents should be barred from courthouses because fear of deportation deters illegal aliens from making court appearances. At the top of their list of sympathetic complainants are victims of domestic violence. A recent New York Times story even claimed that fewer immigrants are reporting domestic violence out of fear of deportation.
Why is domestic violence such a common theme in the media’s pro-illegal spin machine? It could just be another case of the pro-illegal lobby picking the most sympathetic groups, small children, abused women, to undermine immigration law and protect a Democrat voting bloc by any means necessary.
But there actually is an alien domestic violence problem. And it’s a serious one.
Illegal alien populations are largely drawn from countries with much higher rates of violence against women than the United States. El Salvador, in particular, has been described as ‘femicidal’. Some of that violence is perpetrated by the MS-13 gang which is notorious for its abuse of women. But not all of it.
What is even more disturbing is that immigrant violence against women actually rises after migration.
In a 2000 study published in the Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy, 48% of immigrant women from Latin America claimed that they had suffered more domestic violence since moving to the United States. This troubling statistic suggests that the United States is no panacea against cultural domestic violence, but that the resulting dislocation may actually instead exacerbate the abuse.
Another survey of immigrant women from El Salvador, Mexico and several other countries found that 62% experienced physical or emotional abuse. 31% found that the abuse increased with immigration.
And 9% reported that the abuse began only when they came to this country.
Immigration didn’t fix their problem. Instead it created it or made it worse.
That 48% of women who suffered more domestic violence after moving to the United States is a statistic that should make any honest migration advocate question whether immigration is an unalloyed good.
In New York City, domestic violence rates for foreign-born women were much higher than for those born in this country. 51% of the women murdered in domestic violence crimes were foreign-born while only 49% had been born in this country. Immigration didn’t save these women. It killed them.
Statistics show that there is a link between domestic violence and immigration, especially the lack of legal status. Proponents of immigration treat it as an undiluted good. But it isn’t an undiluted good. Not for Americans or for the migrants and immigrants who come to this country. Everyone comes here searching for a better life, as the immigration cliché goes, but while for some the good life involves hard work while for others it means human trafficking, drug smuggling and international gangs like MS-13.
The refusal of immigration hardliners to look at the dark side of immigration leaves them unable to address the causes of the domestic violence statistics that they tout to undermine law enforcement.
Immigration transplants native dishes and customs that Americans enjoy, but it also brings along violence and abuse. The transfusion process can also create cultural problems that are worse than those of either country. MS-13 and second-generation Islamic terrorism in America and Europe are examples.
Migration from countries where violence against women is endemic packs that culture of abuse into a suitcase and takes it along. And its victims won’t only be the women emigrating from El Salvador. They may be the American women whom such men marry or they may be the random women and girls assaulted by illegal aliens. Immigrant domestic violence is also a serious threat to American women.
The pro-illegal lobby wants us to stop enforcing immigration laws and to only enforce domestic violence laws. But that’s like trying to drill a bigger hole in a boat while bailing out water with a bigger bucket.
Illegal alien domestic violence is not the problem; it’s only a symptom of the problem. Immigration doesn’t provide a safe harbor. In a significant number of cases, it seems to worsen the abuse.
The pro-illegal lobby has made domestic violence into a centerpiece of its advocacy. But asylum clearly doesn’t address the problem because the issue isn’t territorial, it’s cultural. Domestic violence crosses borders the same way that terrorism, gang violence, drug dealing and honor killings immigrate here.
And if we are going to provide asylum from cultural problems, there has to be a plan for keeping those problems on the other side of the border. Otherwise the very idea of asylum becomes a farce.
The first condition of asylum is that it be able to protect a refugee from the very thing he is fleeing.
Europe and America tried providing asylum to Syrian and Iraqi migrants. But the violence that they were supposedly fleeing didn’t stay in Syria and Iraq. It came along with them. Providing sanctuary for people fleeing gang violence is equally ineffective when their children set up their ownMS-13 franchises in Virginia middle schools. We can’t provide asylum from MS-13, if we can’t keep MS-13 out. And we can’t offer sanctuary from Islamic violence if the refugees bring it with them. That’s true of domestic violence.
Attorney General Sessions did the right thing by questioning asylum for domestic and gang violence. Aside from the other valid objections, these are extensible problems that asylum spreads around.
Immigration advocates have made asylum into a meaningless word that covers Hondurans living in the United States since a 1998 hurricane, Sunnis on the losing side of the Syrian civil war and gang members fleeing their own violence. But beyond showering them with freebies, they have no explanation of how this asylum will be sustained by seeing to it that they don’t reproduce the conditions that they fled.
And that includes domestic violence.
The left welcomes refugees, but can’t explain how they became refugees. It denies that they played a part in the conditions they’re fleeing. And so it’s incapable of explaining why the conditions recur.
It’s not the fault of President Trump, Attorney General Sessions, Secretary of Homeland Security Nielsen or any other administration officials that immigrants have higher domestic violence rates. It's their fault.
We can’t stop domestic violence in America by bringing more of it into this country.
The left must choose whether it really wants to stop domestic violence or change national demographics. Its advocacy for victims of domestic violence is as hypocritical as the rest of its feminism when its immigration policies continue to make this country less safe for women every single year.
If we’re going to protect domestic violence victims, let’s start by protecting American women.