The Citizenship and Immigration Services branch of Homeland Security reports reaching “…a significant milestone in its efforts to provide relief to victims of crimes.” The milestone is that it “…has for the second straight year approved 10,000 petitions for U nonimmigrant status, also referred to as the U-visa.” The 10,000 U-visas are the maximum number set aside for victims of crime who “…have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse and are willing to help law enforcement authorities investigate or prosecute crime.” The recipients of these visas become eligible three years later to apply to convert their status to permanent residence, i.e., legal immigrants. Official data for the program do not identify how many of these visas are awarded to illegal aliens, but it is reasonable to assume that virtually all of them go persons who do not already have legal status.
A public defender commenting in a San Francisco Weekly article on the U visa this past March said that, “Getting status in the United States is such a big deal that it really can create an incentive, sometimes just to exaggerate, and sometimes to flat out fabricate. I don’t know the solution, but it is a problem.” Note that the administration together with open borders and amnesty groups are heavily promoting the availability of such visas and how to qualify for them.
The historic pattern with special interest visa set asides is that once they become popular and their use expands to the limit set by Congress a backlog of approved cases waiting for a visa develops. Then pressure begins to be applied to Congress to deal with the backlog by increasing the visa ceiling. This is what happened with asylum claims that originally had a cap of 5,000 per year that later was doubled to 10,000 per year because of a backlog, and now is unlimited – again because a backlog developed.