Crime Victim Visa Program Expands Rapidly

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.

About Author


Jack, who joined FAIR’s National Board of Advisors in 2017, is a retired U.S. diplomat with consular experience. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and has authored studies of immigration issues. His national and international print, TV, and talk radio experience is extensive (including in Spanish).


  1. avatar

    Insane! insane! insane! What else will our government come up wtth to ensure that we become the next third world? For every one of those deported under Obams, 10,000 more are brought in. It must stop. However, if Rick Perry is elected, we will see the new United States of Latinos. And, I wonder how long it will take to convert us entirely to the hellholes they slither in from.

    • avatar

      We all have to see that the ultimate goal here is to legalize as many poor illegal minorities as possible. Than give them every assistance program (originally designed to help only those most needy Americans) available and secure their vote forever. We are doomed if we do not stop this and remove those from office who promote it. Governor Perry is an open borders advocate! I have spent almost all my life’s savings sending our 4 children to good colleges mostly out of state paying the maximum tuition. Governor Perry believes someone who is here illegally should be rewarded with in state college tuition and federal grants to pay for it instead of being arrested and deported. It makes me sick!