WRR Supports Recommendations to DFEH and the U Visa Certification Policy

Weinberg, Roger & Rosenfeld has endorsed recommendations to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) to help strengthen and streamline the agency’s commitment to protecting immigrant victims of crime in the workplace by use of its U Visa certification policy.

The U visa provides status and work authorization to immigrants who are victims of serious crimes.  Congress created the U Visa to help “strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute” crimes, while offering “protection to victims of such offenses in keeping with the humanitarian interests of the United States.”  By creating this immigrant relief, Congress also “sought to encourage law enforcement officials to better serve immigrant crime victims.”

An immigrant crime victim seeking U visa relief must first obtain a certification of helpfulness from a certifying agency on USCIS Form I-918 Supplement B.  This “U Nonimmigrant Status Certification” confirms that the applicant “has been helpful, is being helpful, or is likely to be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the qualifying criminal activity of which he/she is a victim.”

The crimes that qualify for the U Visa are:

Rape, torture, trafficking, incest, domestic violence, sexual assault, abusive sexual contact, prostitution, sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation, being held hostage, peonage, involuntary servitude, slave trade, kidnapping, abduction, false imprisonment, blackmail, extortion, manslaughter, murder felonious assault, witness tampering, obstruction of justice, perjury, or attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the above-mentioned crimes, or any similar activity in violation of federal, state or local criminal law.

The DFEH is a certifying law enforcement agency.  Our letter supports the agency’s efforts to help immigrant crime victims in the workplace.

By Monica Guizar

Legal Developments