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Can Victims of Crime Receive Protection Against Deportation?

 Posted on September 21, 2023 in Immigration

Untitled---2023-09-21T103125.345.jpgLiving in a foreign country can be challenging, especially for immigrants who have been the victims of crime. In addition to physical and emotional trauma due to the crime itself, an immigrant may worry that if they report the crime, they may face deportation. Fortunately, there are protections available to victims of crime that can help them seek justice without the added worry of being removed from their communities. An experienced attorney can help crime victims determine whether U visas or VAWA self-petitions may be available in these situations.

The U Visa: A Pathway to Protection

The U visa is one option that may be available to immigrant victims of certain crimes. This type of visa provides temporary legal status to crime victims who have suffered harm because of qualifying criminal activity.

To be eligible for a U visa, a person must meet several requirements:

  • The immigrant was a victim or witness to a qualifying crime committed in the United States.

  • The immigrant experienced substantial physical or mental abuse as a crime victim.

  • The immigrant has information about the criminal activity and is willing to assist law enforcement officials during investigations or prosecutions.

  • The immigrant is admissible to the United States. If there are any issues that could result in an immigrant being deemed inadmissible, waivers of inadmissibility may be available.

The recipient of a U visa will be allowed to remain in the United States without facing deportation, and they will also receive work authorization. They may eventually apply for lawful permanent residency (a Green Card) after they receive a U visa and maintain a physical presence in the United States for three years.

VAWA: Protecting Immigrant Survivors of Domestic Violence

In addition to the U visa, another form of protection available to immigrant victims is the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). This law provides protections for survivors of domestic violence, including men, women, and children.

Under VAWA, an immigrant can self-petition for lawful permanent residency without relying on sponsorship from a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse, parent, or adult child who engaged in acts of abuse. This allows survivors to seek safety and independence from their abusers without fear of deportation.

A spouse, child, or parent of a U.S. citizen or Green Card holder who engaged in acts of domestic violence or abuse may self-petition for protection under VAWA. If granted, an immigrant will be able to receive employment authorization, and they may also qualify to receive public benefits. They will be able to apply for a Green Card once an immigrant visa is available to them.

The Importance of Seeking Legal Help

If you are an immigrant victim of crime who is seeking protection against deportation, it is crucial to speak to an experienced immigration attorney. A skilled lawyer can help navigate the complex process of applying for visas. At Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC, we can provide assistance through each step of the application process and ensure that your rights are protected.

We will help gather evidence supporting your case, such as police reports, medical records documenting injuries, and affidavits from witnesses. We will also work with you to prepare a detailed statement explaining how you have been affected by abuse or other crimes and why you should be protected against deportation. We can ensure that you cooperate with law enforcement and meet all requirements to qualify for a visa or Green Card. 

Contact Our Orlando Crime Victim Immigration Lawyers

If you are an immigrant who has been the victim of a crime, and you may possibly face deportation, Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC can provide the legal help you need. Our compassionate Orange County deportation defense attorneys understand the challenges you are facing, and we can help you determine the best ways to protect yourself and your family. Contact us today at 407-955-5000 for a free consultation where we can discuss your case, explain the available options, and help you determine the best course of action. 

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