Started in 2000 by the Congress, the U Visa is an innovative approach to tackle violence and criminals by awarding an open work permit to people who’ve entered the country illegally, if they report the violence and produce enough proof for it. However, the US government has put a cap of 10,000 yearly, which scares illegal immigrants to come forward and report the crime.
The U Visa was started as a part of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, which was launched in the same year. It isn’t an automatic visa, and the illegal immigrants need a judge, police, or prosecutor to verify that they are telling the truth to us and also that their help is useful to tackle the criminal. However, the US government hasn’t been active in clearing backlogs, stopping them from reporting the crimes. As of September 2017, there are 110,511 pending cases, which will take at least 10 years to clear, while more keep adding. 36,531 of them filed in the year 2017 alone.
Back in 2013, eight senators tried to reform the policy and increase the cap to 18,000, but they weren’t successful. It actually doesn’t make sense to keep a cap on the U Visa. Most crime victims are living in the US and are the sole earner for their families. They are living in the US for years and are an integral part of the community. They have to fend for their children and keeping them in legal waters isn’t healthy for anyone.
The U Visa serves a humanitarian purpose and if Trump wants he can lift the ban in a minute, but he isn’t. Instead, he is making the rules stricter, especially in San Antonio. If you report to the police and your claim isn’t strong enough, you’ll deport to your country without even letting you meet your family or collect valuables from your home.