What Two Reports Have to Say About Trump’s Impact on Immigrants and Muslims

By Deepa Iyer May 01, 2017

Saturday (April 29) marked the end of the first 100 days of the Trump Administration. While the Administration used the milestone as an opportunity to tout its successes, community-based organizations and think tanks are lambasting the president’s policies and rhetoric.

We Belong Together, an initiative of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, released a report on the impact of the president’s immigration executive orders on women and families. The report’s authors, Amanda Baran and Sameera Hafiz, write:

Prior to the election of Donald Trump, immigrant communities faced heightened levels of immigration enforcement and deportation, including the resurgence of home raids and the detention of mothers and children fleeing gender-based violence. In his first 100 days in office, Trump has dramatically shifted this baseline, criminalizing even the everyday actions of immigrant women and families.

During the first 100 days, the Trump Administration issued two executive orders that encouraged collaboration between local law enforcement and immigration authorities, exposed all undocumented immigrants to the possibility of removal and ramped up immigrant detention. Baran and Hafiz point to several examples of undocumented women detained by immigration authorities, including a transgender woman and domestic violence survivor. And they warn that as immigrant detention increases, so will the population of immigrant women who will be placed in unsafe facilities without adequate care.  

The New York Times recently reported that the fear of deportation is fueling a decrease in reports of domestic violence, sexual assault and rape by undocumented immigrants in Houston, Los Angeles and Denver. Last Friday April 28, a bipartisan group of members in the House of Representatives sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security secretary John Kelly to express their concern that the immigration executive orders undermine the purpose of anti-trafficking laws and the Violence Against Women Act because immigrant victims are now less likely to report violence and crime. 

Read the full We Belong Together report here.

The Brennan Center for Justice’s report, “The Islamophobic Administration,” focuses on the impact of Trump’s rhetoric and policies on American Muslims. The report’s authors, Faiza Patel and Rachel Levinson-Waldman, lay out how the Muslim and refugee bans, the appointments of people who harbor anti-Islam viewpoints and Trump’s own anti-Muslim rhetoric have contributed to an environment of bigotry and xenophobia targeting Muslims and those from Muslim-majority countries for violence, profiling and discrimination.

Patel and Levinson-Waldman write:

Perhaps the starkest example of the “Trump effect,” however, comes from the spike in hate crimes after he announced his proposal to ban Muslims entering the United States. On December 7, 2015, Trump posted a statement on his campaign website calling for a “complete and total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” He followed up the online posting with tweets and a public announcement at a campaign rally that evening. In the subsequent five days, anti-Muslim incidents in the United States rose nearly 90 percent as compared to the five days prior to the announcement.

The Brennan Center for Justice’s report also anticipates that future policies such as extreme vetting of Muslims entering the United States and a rebranding of the countering violent extremism program to focus exclusively on Islamic extremism will have harmful consequences on Muslim communities.

Read the full Brennan Center for Justice report here.

Both reports provide an important reminder: while immigrant women, women of color and Muslims will likely continue to face attacks from the Administration, they are also among those on the frontlines of resistance.