Support for Education and Awareness on U Visa Certifications and T Visa Declarations

Support for Education and Awareness on U Visa Certifications and T Visa Declarations

Resolution

Submitted by: Victim Services Committee

Co-Sponsored by: Police Investigative Operations Committee and Forensic Science Committee

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U.S. Law provides several protections for legal and undocumented immigrants who have been victims of a crime.  There are specific protections for victims of domestic violence, human trafficking victims as well as other certain crimes. Countries that do not have similar laws should considering adding something similar; and

 

WHEREAS, IACP shares the goals of the United States Congress to protect immigrant victims of crime and encourage public safety and cooperation between immigrant communities and law enforcement; and

 

WHEREAS, IACP realizes that encouraging immigrant crime victims to report criminal activity translates into early detection of crimes and overall better reporting of crimes, which consequently enhances not only public safety but officer safety as well; and

 

WHEREAS, IACP recognizes that U Visa Certifications and T Visa Declarations are important crime fighting tools offering significant potential benefits to law enforcement agencies in fulfilling their mission to keep their communities safe; and

 

WHEREAS, IACP understands that U Visa Certifications and T Visa Declarations are acknowledgements by law enforcement agencies that the victim has reasonably cooperated in the investigation of prosecution of human trafficking or another qualifying criminal activity; and

 

WHEREAS, IACP acknowledges that providing Certifications for immigrant crime victims for U Visas and providing Declarations for immigrant human trafficking victims for T Visas increases trust between law enforcement officials and otherwise reluctant immigrant communities who fear that contacting police will lead to their deportation; and

 

WHEREAS, IACP acknowledges the Migration Policy Institute estimates that 11 million unauthorized immigrants are living in the U.S. (3.42% of the total U.S. population of 321.4 million in 2015) based on American Community Survey (ACS) data; and

 

WHEREAS, IACP recognizes that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has documented the receipt of applications for both U Visas [2015: 30,106; 2016: 35, 044; 2017: 18,866 (6 mos.)] and T Visas [2015: 1,062; 2016: 953; 2017: 504 (6 mos.)]; and

 

WHEREAS, IACP recognizes the critical importance of further input from law enforcement, government agencies, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, victim advocacy groups, and other stakeholders in developing and implementing best practices around the provision of U visa certifications and T visa declarations. Now, therefore, be it

 

RESOLVED, that IACP supports increasing education, training and communication on U visa certifications and T visa declarations, and increased police leadership involvement in these efforts; and, be it

 

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the International Association of Chiefs of Police commits to continued input,representation, and collaboration in ongoing efforts to prioritize the need to communicate the benefits of U visa certification and T visa declaration to Chiefs of Police, highlighting them as effective tools for law enforcement agencies that enhance public safety, officer safety, and protection of victims nationwide.

 

 

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