The Quinn Law Firm
Call to schedule a consultation
336-790-4178Greensboro 877-781-8091Toll Free

Are North Carolina immigrants being discriminated against?

A recent case has developed in North Carolina that has left some people wondering whether one district attorney has misinterpreted the law. Some say it appears that undocumented immigrants in the state are being discriminated against.  The issues surround a particular visa known as a "U visa" that was said to be implemented in order to encourage those without legal status to come forward to report crimes when necessary.

Currently, the law stipulates that when a person without legitimized status reports a crime, he or she becomes eligible to stay in the country for four years and also apply for permanent residency in the United States. The program has been active for well over a decade. A recent case involved a young woman, without legal status, who was reportedly harmed physically by her boyfriend. According to the law, this woman would be eligible for a U visa after reporting the crime to police.

A controversy over the U visa has arisen, however, because a district attorney in North Carolina has stated that he has no intentions to certify a recommendation for the visa with regard to any person of Latino ethnicity who is reporting a crime that was committed against him or her by another Latino. While the federal government has the final authority to issue the visas, a recent article explained that the case must be certified before it is sent to the federal government for processing. In addition to a district attorney's office, police departments and more than 160 other agencies have the authority to certify or deny a recommendation for the visa.

A North Carolina law professor stated that she believes that the district attorney involved in the recent case is in violation of federal law due to racial discrimination. She further stated that there is no context within the law concerning the U visa that would justify the district attorney's statements. An attorney representing the Latino woman has said that the U visa statute does not regard race as a deciding factor for certification and that the district attorney has committed an abuse of power. Immigrants who believe that they have suffered unjust treatment with regard to eligibility for a U visa or any other matter concerning legal status might benefit by seeking advice from an attorney who has experience in immigration and naturalization law.

Source: The Charlotte Observer, "Gaston prosecutor denies aid to Latino victims", Fred Clasen-Kelly, May 8, 2015

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information