URGENT: Assist law enforcement by protecting noncitizen victims of crimes (HB 298)!

Ask your state senator to vote YES on HB 298 to assist law enforcement by protecting noncitizen victims of crimes!

U visa status (also known as U nonimmigrant status) was created by Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act. It is designed to provide lawful status to noncitizen crime victims who have assisted, are assisting, or are willing to assist the authorities in investigating or prosecuting crimes that were committed against them. A months-long investigation by the Deseret News to review U Visa applications and acceptances revealed inconsistent practices by law enforcement agencies, poor tracking practices and problems with outreach to the immigrant community about a program designed to cut crime and help families.

Simply click “Start Writing” to write to your senator now.

What would HB 298 Victim Guidelines for Prosecutors do?

Because there is no established procedure or protocol for law enforcement agencies tasked with certifying the application, each department is left to establish its own process. Many departments, especially those that rarely receive applications, do not have a system in place for reviewing U visas and simply handle them on a case-by-case basis. HB 298 creates uniform guidelines for prosecutors and other entities regarding proper protocol related to immigration status forms of a crime victim when receiving the assistance of the crime victim.

HB 298 will get a final vote in the Senate SOON. Ask your state senator to vote YES on HB 298 NOW!

(Remember to personalize your comments for the greatest impact! Why do YOU support this proposal?)

  • The main purpose of the U visa is to encourage undocumented crime victims to help law enforcement investigate and prosecute crimes without fear of being deported.
  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) provides guidance to federal, state, local, tribal and territorial law enforcement officers, but does not require certifying agencies to complete training, leading to inconsistencies across jurisdictions.
  • Fear of law enforcement can be two-fold for immigrants. In addition to the ever-present fear of deportation, the immigrant may come from a country where the police aren’t trusted. Creating more uniform procedures makes navigating the process for victims more accessible.
How to make sure your letter is successful:

  1. Use a clear and specific subject heading.
  2. Start with a salutation (“Dear …”).
  3. Be CIVIL, PERSONAL and as CONCISE as possible.
  4. Mention that you are a CONSTITUENT and include your full address with zip code.
  5. Sign your name at the end.

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