U and T visas (Victims of Trafficking and Violence)
Through the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, ICWC will assist immigrants in obtaining T and U visas. U visas are available to immigrants who are victims of a specified crime (including domestic violence and sexual assault), who were helpful in the investigation and who suffered substantial physical or emotional abuse. T visas are available to victims of a severe form of trafficking. This includes sex trafficking of persons under 18 years of age or recruiting persons for labor or services through force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude.
Through the Violence Against Women Act, ICWC will work with victims of domestic violence, who are married to or recently divorced from U.S.citizens and legal residents, to leave their abusive relationships and independently petition for their immigration status. Many battered immigrant women report that they will not leave a violent relationship until their immigration concerns are addressed.
Through the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status law, ICWC will assist undocumented children who have been abused, abandoned or neglected to become lawful permanent residents. Many at-risk children are missing out on this extremely important immigration benefit to which they are legally entitled.
Through the probate courts, ICWC will work with children under 18 and potential guardians in obtaining legal guardianship. Many of these children are victims of abuse, abandonment or neglect who are not in the foster care system because a relative is available to be appointed legal guardian. A legal guardianship suspends parental rights, giving the guardian custody and care of the child.
President Obama’s Administration recently announced that younger immigrants may be eligible for “Deferred Action” and work authorization. Deferred Action is temporary relief from deportation or removal action. This policy is not a permanent fix and does not grant permanent legal status to anyone.