Target: Mr. Daniel H. Ragsdale, ICE’s Deputy Director
Goal: Demand sanctions against ICE agents who reportedly arrested an victim of domestic violence seeking state protection.
Agents of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) allegedly infiltrated a Texas courthouse in El Paso to arrest an undocumented transgender woman who was seeking a protective order from her partner. Video footage released a few days later contradicts the agents’ affidavit that they did not enter the courthouse and arrested the woman on the street nearby instead. The detention, unprecedented in its conduction, has sparked national concern as it sends a frightening message to undocumented women, who are among the most affected by domestic violence and battery.
Since an executive order signed by President Trump stating that unauthorized immigrants should be a priority for deportation, raids in homes, workplaces, checkpoints on roads, subway stations, bus stops, etc. have shaken the country. As detentions gain headlines, accusations of ICE’s misconduct also come into view. ICE officials insist that the woman arrested in El Paso has a criminal record. Despite her history, the arresting plan should not have unfolded the way it did, and the agents should not have lied. People close to the victim believe that the woman’s boyfriend has tipped off her whereabouts, but ICE is not supposed to rely solely on information given by an abusive partner to decide whether to capture an undocumented immigrant.
Advocates for the end of violence against women in El Paso reported that several female immigrants have clearly expressed that they are now unsure about filing restraining orders or looking for institutional channels to demand justice. Fear has spread to undocumented women all over the country. Sign the petition to demand that the agents involved in the arrest of the transgender woman in El Paso are punished. Women should feel protected by the institutions in their fight against abusive partners.
Dear Mr. Ragsdale,
Nationwide concern emerged with the information that ICE agents in El Paso, Texas have arrested a woman in a state courthouse. The woman was reportedly found in a room where protective order hearings take place. She was seeking help following up a police report specifying the violent behavior of her partner and the risk for her safety.
With the increasing number of deportations in the last weeks, there has been growing attention to the conduct of ICE and immigrant officials in general. Detaining a person in such a moment of exposure does not seem an ethical behavior. Furthermore, it is not right that ICE officials in Texas have apparently relied on information provided by the alleged abuser. The agents also lied under oath, trying to cover the story and corrupt any accountability process.
I urge you to apply sanctions to the officers involved in the investigation and the arrest of the woman in the courthouse in El Paso. Besides safeguarding the integrity of state bodies, this decision would send a crucial message to vulnerable women around the country and contribute to reinforcing the trust that they should feel in the institutional channels.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: U.S. Immigrant and Customs Enforcement