SCAPEGOATING IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES IS NOT JUSTICE FOR RAPE SURVIVORS

Posted by Emily Liang

In March, two high school students in Maryland were accused of raping a 14-year-old schoolmate in the bathroom. The two students, Henry Sanchez-Milian, 18, and Jose Montano, 17, were arrested and charged as adults with first-degree rape and two counts each of first-degree sexual offense. The case attracted a lot of attention from the White House, because Sanchez-Milian is an undocumented immigrant. The case had been used to support President Donald Trump’s actions on undocumented immigrants. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said, “I think part of the reason the President has made illegal immigration and crackdown such a big deal is because of tragedies like this.” Despite the attention from The White House, the charges against the two high school students were dropped this month because of the lack of evidence and the substantial inconsistencies present. Instead, Sanchez-Milian has been charged of possession of child pornography. In addition, when he first was arrested in March, Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested his father, Adolfo Sanchez-Reyes. Montano, however, will be charged in juvenile court for possession and distribution of child pornography.

I chose this case because it touches on rape, and immigration, both of which the Youth Advisory Council spreads awareness about. I believe this case demonstrates how survivors of rape do not get the justice they deserve. Many individuals, similar to me, are shocked and saddened by the result of this case. However, I feel that the only reason this case received so much attention from The White House is because Sanchez-Milian is an undocumented citizen, not because they care about the well-being of the rape victim. White House representatives are only using Sanchez-Milian as a scapegoat to support their unfair treatment to undocumented immigrants. Sanchez-Milian is not a true representation of people who are undocumented; the community of undocumented individuals should not be held accountable for the actions of Sanchez-Milian. It is frustrating that the only time White House representatives care about rape cases is because they can gain from it.