CLINIC Releases Roadmap for States to Build Safer Communities by Protecting Immigrant Survivors of Violence

SILVER SPRING, Maryland – The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., or CLINIC, released a comprehensive toolkit to help state and local lawmakers and advocates put in place well-constructed laws and policies to protect immigrant survivors of violence, and in turn, build stronger communities.

The U visa was created by Congress in 2000 to provide protection to undocumented immigrant survivors of crimes — allowing them to work with local law enforcement without fear of deportation and having their families torn apart and destabilized. In addition to the vital humanitarian protection U visas provide, they are a key tool in building trust and communication in communities.

Viviana Westbrook, CLINIC’s State and Local Advocacy Attorney and author of the toolkit said: “State and local law and policy makers should prioritize putting in place effective U visa certification laws and policies to create stronger and safer communities for everyone. The U visa process should ensure that trust is built and maintained between undocumented communities and law enforcement, that there are clear guidelines for legal services providers assisting immigrant survivors of crimes on their cases, and that survivors can get relief as soon as possible. There must also be accountability measures for when law enforcement falls short — trust is fragile and it must be prioritized.”

The toolkit includes a map to provide a guide for lawmakers and advocates on where U visa work is urgently needed. CLINIC is available as a resource to lawmakers and advocates for questions and guidance needed on next steps at