Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio made it clear in January: New York State and New York City were stepping up efforts to protect some of the most vulnerable immigrants from deportation.
Undocumented immigrants who are victims of crime and cooperate with law enforcement would have more avenues to apply for special visas that let them stay in the country and work legally.
But the fanfare masked just how difficult it is to get one of the visas — as one woman from Honduras can attest.
Yoselin, 31, seemingly did everything right when all went wrong for her. She reported domestic violence to the police in Freeport, N.Y., on Long Island, last fall. But she and her advocates say they ran into a series of roadblocks: police prejudice, ignorance of the law on the part of court officials, limited resources from their own organization and suspicion from the authorities that she was trying to get a free pass to stay in the United States by seeking what is known as a U visa.
“I didn’t go through everything for that,” Yoselin said, “because I had no idea that due to my domestic violence I could get a visa.” She asked to be identified only by her first name because she fears retribution from her ex-boyfriend.
[Immigrant Crime Victims Seeking Special Visas Find a Tough Path, by Liz Robbins, NYT, March 8, 2016]
So says the woman with her face in the pages of the New York Times. She's afraid of her ex-boyfriend, who is apparently so stupid he can't identify her by a photograph, but only by her last name.
And the fatty Yoselin is a two-fer. She was already applying for asylum based on catching a disease, HIV, when she was "pushed" by her ex-boyfriend. Which made her eligible for a second shot at a green card with the U visa.
Yoselin fled Honduras in 2012. She said she was harassed by her superiors at work there when they found out she was H.I.V.-positive.
After arriving in New York, she filed for asylum, fearing that the persecution based on her H.I.V. status would continue and that the government would not protect her. Since April 2013, Yoselin has been working with a legal team at Immigration Equality, a nonprofit organization representing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and H.I.V.-positive clients.
Add the obesity, and one cannot exactly expect much from her in contribution to the economy. Already on welfare, she will never contribute.
The police thought differently and said the pushing incident did not rise to the level of a crime.
After a subsequent encounter with her former boyfriend, when he pushed her aggressively, she said, her lawyers said she went into preterm labor and was taken to a hospital. She filed two police reports, but the police did not find probable cause to arrest the man.
More importantly, the police in the case apparently read my blog, and knew that many of the crimes alleged by illegal aliens are false and designed to obtain the U visa.
Her advocate, Laura Rodríguez, a fellow with the Immigrant Justice Corps, said she placed several calls to Detective Michael Pomerico of the Freeport Police Department regarding Yoselin’s safety and the status of the case. Ms. Rodríguez said that when she asked in late October about certifying her cooperation, Detective Pomerico referred to her previous calls as a calculated attempt to get “this visa thing.”
Which was a problem encountered by the unlamented Locke Bell, District Attorney of Gaston County, North Carolina, who properly sussed out the problem with U visa applications flooding his agency from minor and fraudulent crime victim claims.
Time to end the U visa. It is not needed. Crime victims can testify if needed after being paroled into the United States, then deported after the trial. The U visa was a solution to something that wasn't a problem.