In light of trying to deal with immigration backlog cases, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions changed the rules for continuances on cases.
A Valley immigration attorney said the new rules are affecting victims of crimes that are undocumented.
“They must possess information concerning the crime,” stated retired Immigration Judge, David Ayala.
The U-Visa was created by congress nearly two decades ago in 2000 for undocumented immigrants who have been victims of crimes.
The goal, to strengthen law enforcement’s prosecution of crimes when involving undocumented immigrants.
Crimes such as sexual abuse, domestic violence, aggravated assaults, kidnappings, said Immigration Attorney Alejandro San Miguel.
San Miguel said u-visa cases take up to four years to be settled, but current policies are no longer giving them the time to settle them.
“It gets a little bit more complicated sets for immigration or deportation proceedings because then you’re facing a time clock of an immigration judge that wants to go forward with the case not only the judges its more the department of Homeland Security,” San Miguel said.
San Miguel said the pressure is coming from the administration to help cut down on the thousands of immigration back log cases.
Last year, the administration gave immigration judges a quota to clear 700 cases a year in order to receive a satisfactory rating.
David Ayala, spent 38 years in government as a former immigration judge said the quota puts a strain on the system.
“It’s unfathomable, that is not part of the independence of the immigration court, the independent of the immigration judge, the independence of the impartial adjudicator,” Ayala said.
Ayala said judges can either end the case or give voluntary departure while the u-visa is pending.
San Miguel said it contradicts the entire purpose of protecting the victim, “I would assume that if a person is a victim of a crime the government would be trying to do everything on their hands to protect this individual.”