Under the Trump administration, there are many changes taking place across the country, and at an astonishing rate. It can be challenging keeping up with all the constant updates. While these changes often impact a small fraction of immigrants, the new U Visa change will be sending ripples for years to come.
What Is a U Visa?
A U Visa is a class of visa which is given to individuals who are cooperating with the U.S. government in criminal investigations. This visa is set aside for victims of crimes, along with their immediate family members, who are willing to cooperate with the U.S. government to assist in investigating and prosecuting those who are responsible for the criminal activity. This visa allows victims to enter the U.S. in situations that they would otherwise not be able to.
What Changes Are Taking Place?
The Trump administration is currently making changes to the power ICE has. August 2nd’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement directive will make it even easier for the ICE to deport individuals, even if they are currently waiting for their visas. It is likely that this new change will make immigrants much less likely to report serious crimes, due to the uncertainty of their future involvement. Simply put, this change will make waves and all immigrants will now have another reason to fear ICE. By applying for a U Visa, you are now essentially reporting yourself to ICE and giving them the chance to pick you up and deport you.
One spokesperson from ICE stated that this change was necessary due to the sheer volume of applicants they were seeing, and goes on to say,
“As the number of U visa petitions submitted increased, this process became burdensome on both agencies and such determinations didn’t reflect a qualitative assessment of any assistance provided to law enforcement.”
This new law will allow the ICE to give permission to individuals awaiting their U Visas, which means they will be legally allowed to stay in the United States, before receiving their U Visa—which tends to be a drawn-out process, usually lasting somewhere around 4 years.
This allows ICE to deport individuals seeking U Visas whenever they please.
You Have Rights! Don’t Forget That
With new changes to immigration law, it’s important to remember that you have rights, and these rights are protected. A compassionate, experienced immigration lawyer will allow you to preserve these rights and continue chasing the American dream. For over 40 years, our team of board-certified immigration law attorneys has been providing legal guidance to our clients in immigration and deportation defense.
Call us today (800) 708-4399 to schedule your free consultation, and learn how we can help you keep your dreams alive and well.