Visa Program Encourages Crime Reporting

Visa Program Encourages Crime Reporting

A program that allows undocumented immigrants who are victims of crimes to stay in the country legally is plagued by a backlog of applications and vague criteria that has resulted in uneven cooperation among various law enforcement agencies.

The so-called “U visa” program was implemented six years ago under the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act approved by Congress in 2000. It was intended to encourage victims of domestic violence, human trafficking and other crimes to cooperate with law enforcement agencies so such crimes could be prosecuted.