Representing Survivors of Crimes of Violence with U Visas (.PDF)

Representing Survivors of Crimes of Violence with U Visas (.PDF)

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The U visa was created by the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000. Congress's goal was to encourage undocumented crime victims to come forward and cooperate with law enforcement. But cooperating with law enforcement poses definite risks for undocumented persons. This free, concise, 10-page article, written by Sonia Parras Konrad, explains how to assess a client's eligibility for a U visa even after an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) enforcement action. The author covers:



  • Interviewing skills that may be needed when talking with clients in difficult circumstances, including a sample self-introduction for use at an initial meeting with a potential client;
  • Tips for obtaining certifications from non-traditional law enforcement; and
  • How to improve your representation of clients with U visa possibilities or applications who are already in removal proceedings (continuation, termination, administrative closing, stays, and reopening)



Previously published in AILA's Immigration Practice Pointers, 2010-11 Ed., found also on AILALink.


10 pages
June 2010

About the Authors

Sonia Parras Konrad co-directs ASISTA, a national organization providing immigration technical assistance on representing survivors of crimes of violence. She represented 14 immigrant women survivors of sexual assault in a class action against DeCoster Agg. The case settled on behalf of the survivors ($1.5 million). In 2008, Ms. Konrad represented more than 70 immigrants detained during the Postville raid by filing more than 48 U visa petitions pro bono. Ms. Konrad joined the Iowa bar in 1999; in 2009, she received the AILA Michael Maggio Award for her pro bono work on Postville.

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