Immigration reform
Immigration reform sign on display in New York City on June 5, 2010. Image: pamhule/Flickr/CC BY

A man has been arrested in Colorado for solicitation of prostitution. The man is accused of pressuring women he believed to be illegal immigrants into performing sexual favors.

Touched hired women inappropriately

According to the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, Nestor Vasquez, 64, of Gypsum, Colo., is accused of hiring female painters — women between the ages of 20 and 30 — then harassing and touching them in inappropriate ways. Furthermore, authorities say, he is accused of offering the women money, goods or citizenship in exchange for sexual favors.

Common problem for immigrants

Sexual harassment is a common complaint of women who are in the U.S. illegally. A recent article in Boston Magazine says up to 90 percent of all female illegals may have suffered harassment, though reliable statistics are not available.

Fear of deportation

Many illegal immigrants are afraid to report crimes for fear of deportation. An undocumented worker was quoted in a Los Angeles Times article recently, commenting on the powerlessness that many illegals feel. “I think this is part of the life of being an immigrant. We don’t have any protection,” the man said.

Authorities assure immunity

Because of the reluctance of many immigrants to come forward, the Eagle County Sheriff’s office is assuring the public that anybody with knowledge of the crimes can make a report with no fear of detainment or deportation.

Sheriff’s Department spokesman Joe Hoy said:

“Eagle County residents have the right to speak to a deputy and make a report if any crime is committed against them, regardless of their immigration status. It is our duty to serve and protect everyone in Eagle County.”

Women who feel they have been victimized by Vasquez are urged to call Eagle County authorities at 970-479-2201.

ACLU project protects illegals

The American Civil Liberties Union is urging all immigrants, no matter what their immigration status is, who feel their basic civil liberties have been violated to come forward. The ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project is, according to its website, “dedicated to expanding and enforcing the civil liberties and civil rights of non-citizens and to combating public and private discrimination against immigrants.”


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