The U Visa is a non-immigrant visa which is set aside for victims of crimes who have suffered from certain crimes or abuse and are willing to assist law enforcement and government officials in the investigation of criminal activity.
Many crimes go unreported and witnesses who are undocumented may be wary of testifying in court over fears that interaction with police will lead to removal from the country. ICE has been antagonistic toward undocumented immigrants and their aggressive tactics have caused immigrant crime victims to live in the shadows, making them more vulnerable to abuse. Sexual assault crime reports have dropped by 25% among Los Angeles’ Latino population since the beginning of 2017 compared to last year. Reports of domestic violence have dropped by 10% according to a statement from police chief Charlie Beck earlier this year.
In February, an undocumented woman was arrested almost immediately after she sought a protective order against an abusive ex-partner in El Paso, Texas. Before the executive order on immigration, many immigrant advocates would advise people that the police are there to help them. Now they are telling immigrants to be cautions depending on where they live. A U Visa is a temporary legal status that allows immigrants to stay in the US as long as they cooperate with law enforcement. Once approved the visa will allow the immigrant to stay and work in the US for a period of three years, followed by green card eligibility.
For help with immigration issues, call our experienced immigration attorneys today at 888-517-9888 for a free consultation. The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth regularly hosts high school, college, and law school student interns. This helpful article was written by a high school intern researching current immigration issues for a project at Los Altos High School in Hacienda Heights.