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In all representation, it is important to verify the whether the client is a US citizen. Non-citizens, especially undocumented people may have immigration.

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Presentation on theme: "In all representation, it is important to verify the whether the client is a US citizen. Non-citizens, especially undocumented people may have immigration."— Presentation transcript:


2 In all representation, it is important to verify the whether the client is a US citizen. Non-citizens, especially undocumented people may have immigration options.

3 U Visa- Visa for victims of certain qualifying crimes T Visa- Visa for the victims of Human Trafficking VAWA-Violence Against Women Act- Visas for abused spouses or children of US Citizens or Permanent Residents Juvenile Visas- Special Juvenile Immigrants or Unaccompanied Minors Deferred Action-Temporarily Stops Physical Deportation Self Petitioning

4 Nonimmigrant Status if in US/U Visa if outside US Goal- to encourage undocumented people to report crimes and cooperate with law enforcement Can be found at INA § 101(a)(15)(u)-Definitions; §214(p)-Numerical limits and procedure: 8 CFR §214; adjustment of status: INA §245(m) Requires the alien (1) suffered physically/mentally as the result of being the victim of a qualifying crime, (2) has information helpful to an investigation, (3) has been helpful, was helpful, or is likely to be helpful in an investigation/prosecution, (4) qualifying criminal activity occurred in the United States. 8 CFR §214.4(b) MUST have certification from law enforcement, prosecutor or judge (Form I-918B)

5 If approved gives the person and certain derivatives legal status and the right to work for 4 years At the end of 3 years the person may self petition for Lawful Permanent Residency After 5 years of Residency the person my self petition for US Citizenship Waives almost all grounds of inadmissibility except committing genocide and being a member of the Nazi party (Form I-912)

6 Definitions and Procedure: 8 CFR §214.11, INA 101(a)(15)(T) Qualifications: (1) Be a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons (2) Be physically present in the US as a result of the trafficking (3) Comply with any reasonable request for assistant or prosecution (4) would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm upon removal from the US. 8 CFR §214.11(b)

7 Some family members can be included Eligible to work/live in the US 4 year status May self petition for Lawful Permanent Residency After 4 years OR at the completion of the investigation/prosecution INA §245(l) Pro- No need for the certification (must show attempt to get a certification) Con- Higher level of proof of meeting the trafficking definition


9 Definitions: INA §204(a), Procedure: 8 CFR §204.2(c) Not just for women, can be abused men or children (USC or LPR) or parents (USC only) Abuser must be USC or LPR: This statute takes the place of the Abusing Petitioner Requirements: (1) resided with USC/LPR abuser, (2) battered or subjected to extreme cruelty during marriage, (3) marriage entered into in good faith, (4) otherwise eligible for a visa, (5) has good moral character

10 Subjected to battery or extreme cruelty by the abuser Resides or resided with the abuser Good moral character Pro- Do not need a sponsor and is self petitioning, can work, can remarry after petition is approved, can have derivatives; can apply to 751 as well as initial residency; Can apply for residency immediately if you qualify; 3 years to NATZ

11 Cons: GMC not auto-waived like with Us and Ts; Criminal history might make you ineligible; Multiple entries, deportations, Voluntary returns might make you ineligible; If married to a LPR you have to wait for the priority date; Common law marriage very hard to prove: No benefit if abuser is undocumented (though U might be available)

12 Children can qualify for Us, Ts & VAWA either as the stand alone victim or as a derivative to mom or dad Abused, abandoned or neglected children- SIJS- Special immigrant juvenile status- Requires a guardian, maybe even one parent, needs state court action followed by immigration petition that takes them directly to LPR

13 Juveniles in State Juvenile Court system Juveniles in Federal Custody MUST have a state juvenile court dependency order Dept of Health and Human Services has responsibility for care and custody of unaccompanied minors in federal custody May be able to file an asylum application in some situations

14 Pros- One Stop Shop from undocumented to LPR; waives many things but not everything; Gives you until 21 to apply for the immigration benefit; Quick adjudication (180 days); Eligible to work; Cannot apply for abusive parents Cons- have to be under 18 to get the state order but you have until 21 to apply for the immigration benefit; have to have a state court finding that the child needs a guardian not solely for immigration purposes; tricky if there are multiple entries or if even 1 parent of the child is in the US (though not impossible)

15 Representing victims means building a trust relationship with them. This relationship sometimes takes time to develop Be aware of your own limitations and preconceptions Be courteous and do not dismiss what the person is saying

16 Be aware of the cultural and social implication of what the client is telling you Be aware that you will probably not get the whole story the first time Be aware that depending on the trauma to the victim their story might be disjointed and have later remembered details Be aware they may even lie because of shame or embarrassment

17 Victims Statement Your job as the editor or re-writer or transcriber Working with very traumatized people Working with translators/interpreters What if the client has cold feet later? What if he or she is still living with the abuser? Working with difficult police, prosecutors or court victims advocates


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