Domestic Violence Survivors and the U Visa

Domestic Violence Survivors and the U Visa

Domestic violence is a reality in many women’s households across the nation, regardless of their ethnicity. For immigrants present in the U.S. with no legal status, contacting law enforcement authorities is a definite risk. Under the Trump administration, the immigration crackdown has resulted in countless arrests of immigrants with no criminal record, with some arrests even taking place in schools and courthouses. Domestic violence victims often fear that they will call attention to their immigration status if they report the violence to law enforcement officials, which could result in their deportation. Although the relationship between local law enforcement and immigration authorities differs from one jurisdiction to the next, a domestic violence victim essentially is choosing between her safety and the possibility deportation whenever she contacts law enforcement for help. Some victims may simply not make that phone call out of fear that police will turn her over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. And abusers often capitalize on this fear, warning victims that if they contact police, they will be deported and separated from their children, who often are U.S. citizens. Fortunately, there is a program available that can help the victims of certain crimes, including domestic violence. The U visa program offers an avenue for crime victims to gain legal immigration status and remain in the U.S. The application process is lengthy and somewhat risky, as victims must submit personal information to the government without any protections from deportation while they are awaiting a decision by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). There are roughly 170,000 applications for U visas pending; USCIS typically issues only about 10,000 U visas each year. In light of the Trump administration’s focus on enforcement of immigration laws, the number of U visas has nearly tripled. No matter what circumstances your case may involve, including domestic violence, the skilled and knowledgeable immigration lawyers of Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. are here to get immigrants released from detention and defend them against removal from the country. We handle these types of cases on a regular basis and have valuable knowledge about how to best represent your interests, based on your individual circumstances. By contacting our office right away, you will place yourself in the best position possible to have loved ones released from detention and defend again potential removal from home and family.
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