Crime victims who aren’t citizens may be reluctant to come forward, particularly if they are in the United States illegally. Congress attempted to address this problem in 2000, by creating a special category of temporary visa for crime victims who assist authorities in investigating and prosecuting those who victimized them. These visas, called U visas, have not been widely used, as I noted in this blog post. I suspect that’s partly due to uncertainty about how the visas work and about who has the authority to certify that the non-citizen has been helpful to authorities.
I am therefore thrilled to announce that the School of Government’s immigration law guru, Sejal Zota, has published a new paper on U visas. It’s entitled Law Enforcement’s Role in U Visa Certification, and it’s available as a free download here. It’s a must-read for law enforcement officers and prosecutors who are involved in cases with non-citizen victims, as well as for immigration lawyers and others who might be called on to represent such victims.