Victims of Crime, Asylum, and Humanitarian Relief

Immigration law provides for a number of humanitarian based immigration statuses.

The U visa provides status to individuals who have been victims of certain crimes in the U.S. and who were helpful in the investigation of the crime.  One reason for this form of relief is that Congress recognizes that immigrants are particularly vulnerable to crime and often fear reporting victimization to police.  This is an important mechanism to ensure that crimes against immigrants are investigated and prosecuted.

The Violence Against Women Act recognizes that some U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents are abusive toward their immigrant family members.  They use the process of filing for their family members as a means of control and threaten to report the family member to immigration if that spouse or child leaves the abusive relationship.   The I-360 process creates a way for a victim of abuse by a spouse or parent to apply for his or herself.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is awarded to some individuals when their home countries are unstable, preventing them from safely returning there. Usually TPS is designated based upon ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions in the country of designation.

Asylum protects individuals who will be persecuted if returned to their home country.