Undocumented crime victims who assist police are often denied help in getting visa

Congress created the U visa program in 2000 to encourage undocumented immigrants to report crimes to the police and cooperate with investigations and prosecutions. The visa legalizes an immigrant's status, if certified by a law enforcement agency and approved by the federal government. Some police departments, like Whitehall, Ohio's, routinely reject requests for certification because they want to avoid entanglements in immigration matters, or simply because they are anti-immigrant. No national rules require agencies to comply with the system, though some states do.

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