By Coleman Jackson, Attorney & Counselor
June 23, 2020
Under U.S. law an immigrant who is the victim of crime and abuse could be eligible to become a lawful permanent resident (get a green card) if they or themselves or child or parent are a victim of a crime or extreme cruelty under certain circumstances. The particulars of the circumstances are the determinants as to whether the immigrant victim should pursue green card status through:
- the United States federal law (Title IV, Sections 40001-40703 l Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act, as amended | VAWA Status
- the Immigration & Nationalization Act Section 101(a)(15)(U) visas or
- the Immigration & Nationalization Act Section 1101(a)(15)(T) visas.
In a civilized society, unchecked violence against anyone cannot be tolerated for it violates the social compact between peoples. Injustice is violence; its abuse and it goes against truth and all notions of decency and order. Injustice cannot be tolerated for without justice peace is impossible to achieve.
Immigrants like all peoples have fundamental human rights given to them by their creator. For a long time now, United States federal law has set forth protections for immigrants in (1) VAWA status, (2) U visa and (3) T visa. Some of the most significant comparisons and differences between VAWA status, U Visa and T Visa are as follows:
|Differences and Comparisons Between Three Types of Protections for Immigrant Crime and Abuse Victims|
|VAWA STATUS||U VISA||T VISA|
|WHO||Applies to Immigrant spouses, children, parents abused by their U.S. Citizen spouses, parents or children or Green Card Holders||Applies to Immigrant crime victims||Applies to Immigrant human trafficking victims|
|WHAT||Battered spouses, children and parents who have endured substantial physical, emotional and psychological abuse at the hands of a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident.||Victims of abduction, abusive sexual contact, hostage, blackmail, domestic violence, extortion, murder, incest, involuntary servitude, rape, prostitution, sexual assault, stalking, trafficking, witness tampering, perjury and other specifically listed crimes perpetrated inside the United States by any perpetrator.||Victims who tricked, deceived, hoodwinked, coerced, recruited, transported, harbored, housed in the U.S. for the purpose of violence& abuse, sexual exploitation, pornography, forced labor, debt slavery, involuntary servitude, or like evil acts.|
|WHEN AND WHERE MUST THE ABUSE OR CRIME OCCUR||During a bona fide marriage or within specified familial relationships with U.S. citizen or LPR||While immigrant victim is In the United States and is victim of specified crimes by any perpetrator.||While victim is inside or outside of the United States and is a victim of a crime by any person bringing or receiving the trafficking victim in U.S.|
|HOW TO APPLY FOR THE IMMIGRATION BENEFIT||File I-360 Application with USCIS if inside the U.S.||File I-918 Application with USCIS if inside the U.S.||File I-914 Application with USCIS if inside the U.S.|
|DO THE IMMIGRANT NEED TO HELP LAW ENFORCEMENT||Does not have to help law enforcement and does not need law enforcement Application Certifications||Must help law enforcement and must get law enforcement to help complete Application Certifications||Does not have to help law enforcement and does not need law enforcement Application Certifications|
These are some highlights of the differences and comparisons of these three options available for immigrants; who unfortunately, find themselves abused or otherwise victimized. They simply need to know that they don’t have to suffer injustice in any form in silence and all alone. There are laws designed to protect immigrant abuse and crime victims. And there are many social agencies available for abuse victims throughout the nation. Don’t let anyone ever take away your humanity. You have been created with hope and dignity and a purpose.
This law blog is written by the Taxation | Litigation | Immigration Law Firm of Coleman Jackson, P.C. for educational purposes; it does not create an attorney-client relationship between this law firm and its reader. You should consult with legal counsel in your geographical area with respect to any legal issues impacting you, your family or business.
Coleman Jackson, P.C. | Taxation, Litigation, Immigration Law Firm | English (214) 599-0431 | Spanish (214) 599-0432