Jeanne, from Haiti, lived in the U.S. with her four U.S. citizen children. The sheriff’s department appeared at her home after her abusive boyfriend made a false 911 call against her. Rather than protecting her, the police placed her under arrest, booked her, strip searched her in front of male deputies and then sent her to a detention facility over 400 miles away from her children.
No one asked Jeanne about the domestic violence she had suffered at the hands of her boyfriend or told her that she might qualify for immigration relief because she had been a victim of crime. And no one responded to her concerns for the safety of her children. Jeanne had no way to keep in touch with her children or to make arrangements for their care while she was in detention. When she was finally released several months later, Jeanne learned that one of her sons had been sleeping in his abusive father’s taxi cab and her daughter was living with a school friend’s family after her father kicked her out of the house. An interaction with the police, who were supposed to protect Jeanne and her children from the boyfriend’s abuse, had ended up leaving her children in increased danger of neglect and abuse. The experience left Jeanne and her children traumatized, and put her at risk of both deportation and permanent separation from her children.
Read the full blog on the Rights Working Group website.