NY Times Makes Another U-Turn Away From The Truth

According to the New York Times, “President Trump’s hard-line campaign to limit immigration has undercut his own tough-on-crime agenda.” How so? There are backlogs in the U Visa program.

The Times describes the U Visa as offering, “undocumented immigrants temporary legal residency and a path to American citizenship if they cooperate with law enforcement officials after being a victim or a witness to violent crimes, among them domestic violence and sexual assaults.”

That depiction implies that becoming the victim of a crime immediately qualifies an illegal alien for U.S. citizenship. But that’s not even close to accurate. In reality, U nonimmigrant status is available to:

  • Any alien – lawfully present or illegal – who is admissible to the United States.
  • Who as suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of criminal activity.
  • Who provides information to law enforcement that is helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity (i.e., not someone who merely cooperates with law enforcement but one who actually assists police or prosecutors).
  • And who has been certified by the investigating or prosecuting authority as a productive, cooperating witness.

What the Times also fails to mention is that the U visa program has been rife with fraud, since its inception in 2000. Poorly defined standards for granting U visas and careless adjudication by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has created a situation in which status-seeking aliens can accuse someone of a crime in order to manufacture eligibility for the U program.

There is a statutory cap of 10,000 visas for the U program. Nevertheless, asFox News noted in a 2016 article on U visa fraud, applications for the program increased from 24,768 in 2012 to 52,666 in 2015. They have continued to increase each year. Yet, there is no evidence that immigrants are increasingly becoming the victims of crime. The logical conclusion is that the word is out in the immigrant community and a U visa application is now seen as a work-around for ineligibility for other immigration programs or unlawful presence in the U.S.

In thepiece referenced above, Fox quotes a former Colorado prosecutor who acknowledged that, “anyone who enters the country illegally and can produce a restraining order or affidavit, even with no hard evidence of abuse [thereby qualifying for U status], is likely to be approved for a work permit and permanent residency.” And the Center for Immigration Studies has recounted the story of an Indiana man who admitted to filing more than 250 fraudulent U applications, on behalf of immigrants, between 2013 and 2017. These are only two of many documented cases of U visa fraud.

However, the Times produces no evidence that what it characterizes as an attempt by the Trump administration to “limit” U Visas has had any significant effect on local law enforcement efforts to prosecute crimes. Instead, it furnishes a lot of whining from both illegal aliens and low-level police officials in sanctuary jurisdictions that U visa applications are taking too long.

So, might it be the case that any delays in adjudication represent USCIS attempts to ensure more careful adjudication of U applications, rather than an attempt to punish immigrants? That appears to be the case, the Times even quotes a USCIS spokesman who says that “heightened vetting” of U visa applicants “aims to ensure that the integrity of the U visa program remains strong so that it continues to be a valuable tool for law enforcement and provides meaningful protection to victims.’”

Of course, that wouldn’t line up with the Times’ preferred anti-Trump, open-borders narrative. And an accurate recitation of the facts takes a backseat to fake news that supports ideology approved by the Grey Lady and her mainstream media cohorts.

About Author


Matthew J. O’Brien joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 2016. Matt is responsible for managing FAIR’s research activities. He also writes content for FAIR’s website and publications. Over the past twenty years he has held a wide variety of positions focusing on immigration issues, both in government and in the private sector. Immediately prior to joining FAIR Matt served as the Chief of the National Security Division (NSD) within the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS) at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), where he was responsible for formulating and implementing procedures to protect the legal immigration system from terrorists, foreign intelligence operatives, and other national security threats. He has also held positions as the Chief of the FDNS Policy and Program Development Unit, as the Chief of the FDNS EB-5 Division, as Assistant Chief Counsel with U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, as a Senior Advisor to the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, and as a District Adjudications Officer with the legacy Immigration & Naturalization Service. In addition, Matt has extensive experience as a private bar attorney. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in French from the Johns Hopkins University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Maine School of Law.


  1. avatar

    Perhaps the Answer is Simple

    Fly ’em All Back to Central America Instead…use AF fighter aircraft support in case the Communists there try to shoot our planes down…

  2. avatar

    Members of Congress from some northern border states are complaining that lines from Canada to enter the US this summer may be longer because so many agents are being sent to the southern border. Among the states are New York, Washington, Minnesota, Michigan, Vermont and North Dakota. With the exception of North Dakota those are mainly Democratic-controlled states and their representatives and Senators have refused to even admit there’s any crisis at the southern border and will do nothing to stop the never ending flow of illegals.

    They have fought Trump at every step in trying to secure the border. So, they need to pass laws that will adequately fund ICE and discourage illegal entry or be prepared to see the agents that are available sent to the southern border. It’s like the sanctuary jurisdictions that are complaining that Trump wants to send border crossers to their cities. But what’s their complaint? Aren’t they always saying how “welcome” everyone is, illegal or not? But apparently that’s only rhetoric.

  3. avatar
    Pamela keller on

    Illegals have always tried to get into Usa no matter what is going on. This is an outrage for us in Usa to have to be involved and paying for all this illegals and all these refugees. Government treat us like **** here in Usa now!
    Are country sucks now to live in this damn mess .. Its turning into third world country! Why cant you deport all of these illegals and refugees. Why do we pay taxes to support these non working idiots. With tons of kids. Not good for our Usa ever…..