Under the President Donald Trump, some crimes, such as domestic violence, have become tougher to prosecute because of increased fears on the part of immigrants, according to a new report from the American Civil Liberties Union.
The report said immigrants are fearful of "immigration consequences," including the possibility of deportation, so they are not helping police. Also, some immigrants who are crime victims are staying away from courthouses where they could testify because they fear arrest by immigration authorities.
The findings are based on survey responses from 232 law enforcement officers in 24 states as well as hundreds of others across all 50 states, including judges, prosecutors, survivor advocates and legal service providers.
"Prosecutors surveyed stated that in prior years, as cooperation between prosecutors and immigrant communities increased, survivors of crime were increasingly willing to come forward and assist law enforcement in prosecuting cases," the ACLU report said. "However, over the past year, many categories of crimes have become more difficult to prosecute as a result of an increase in fear of immigration consequences."
The ACLU study found that 82 percent of prosecutors reported that since President Donald Trump got into the White House, "domestic violence is now underreported and harder to investigate and/or prosecute."
Similarly, 70 percent of prosecutors reported the same was true for sexual assault, and 55 percent indicated "the same difficulties for human trafficking and 48 percent for child abuse."
The U.S. Department of Justice declined comment for this story.
The report — "Freezing Out Justice: How Immigration Arrests at Courthouses Are Undermining the Justice System" — found 67 percent of police officers surveyed reported that immigrants' fear affected their ability to protect survivors of crime. Sixty-four percent indicated there was "an adverse impact on officer safety."