USA U-Visa System Requires a Lot of Changes to Lower Crime Rate

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Every year, the US government has 10,000 visas as a part of its criminal reforms. The visa is for immigrants that report crime and want to cooperate with law enforcement. Recently, Trump expressed his views about deporting immigrant criminals. But instead of that, the government should take off the cap from U visa.

The U visa is given to immigrants who come forward when they realize a crime against the constitution has taken place. Many illegal immigrants are living in the US and reporting a crime can get them permanent residency. This initiative was started by Congress in 2000 as a part of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act to encourage illegal immigrants to report crime and cooperate with the law. In return, a four-year U Visa issued to them. But it didn’t work out as planned by the Congress because these illegal immigrants feared they would be deported instead of getting the visa.

But getting the visa isn’t as easy as it sounds. To be eligible for the visa, the immigrant must have support from prosecutor, judge, or police to certify their helpfulness in investigation and prosecution of the crime. If the law enforcement doesn’t think the immigrant was helpful, they won’t receive the certificate of cooperation. At the same time, the immigrant needs to prove that they were a victim of some serious crime and suffered from mental or physical damage. The U visa system requires a lot of improvement. As of 2017, 110,511 cases are still waiting for a verdict.

Removing the cap

Gail Pendleton, ASISTA, feels that there’s no need to limit the number of U visas issued every year. When immigrant victims hear that there are only 10,000 visas allocated yearly, they don’t come forward. Removing the cap is the only solution to helping them because most of the times, they are the sole providers for their US citizen children.

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