Between Borders: Immigrants fear deportation if they report crimes

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A News 12 investigation finds the federal government is deporting undocumented immigrants in New York at a breakneck pace, and advocates say this has led to an increase in hate crimes against minorities.

Local law enforcement officials say many immigrants are afraid to report the hate crimes because they fear the risk of deportation. Westchester District Attorney Anthony Scarpino says he is often the last person to find out about these crimes.

“They are under tremendous pressure on a national level. They are being driven deeper and deeper underground, which makes them increasingly more vulnerable to be taken advantage of,” he says.

More: Between Borders Part One- Skyrocketing deportations

More: Between Borders Part Two- Human rights complaints

More: Between Borders Part Three- Lawmakers demand action after News 12 investigation

It’s not only immigrants who are undocumented who are afraid to speak out. One student, who says her parents are legally in the U.S., said she was told at an airport to “go back where you come from.” She says she chose to stay silent.

“You know, people are just afraid if they speak out. There have been unintended consequences,” she says.

Scarpino says he wants every resident of the county to know that regardless of their immigration status, justice is color-blind. He says there is a special hate crimes unit and that they investigate every incident rigorously.

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