If your employer is abusing or exploiting you based on your immigrant status, you can report them

Many people come to America because it is a place of hope and opportunity. They aim to work hard and make a life for themselves and their loved ones. However, some of the same immigrants do not have documents proving their citizenship or their right to live and work in the United States. If you are in this category, then you no doubt understand the uncertainty and strain that comes with it. What you may not know is that your employer does not have the right to take advantage of your situation by abusing and mistreating you.

If you have been subjected to cruelty or you have witnessed your employer commit crimes, then you may be eligible for a U visa. Your best option is to get legal immigration help Los Angeles by hiring a lawyer. An immigration visa lawyer Los Angeles will provide you with the legal immigration help Los Angeles that you need.

What is a U Visa?

A U visa allows the person holding it to live and work in the United States for up to four years. Holders of U visas may also qualify for a green card after three years.

If you are the victim of certain types of crimes or are willing to cooperate with law enforcement in a criminal investigation, a U visa is an option. Although U visas are commonly used to help victims of domestic violence, it is also available to victims of other types of employer crimes. Members of your family may also qualify for an immigration status that will allow them to remain in the country.

How to Qualify

The U visa was created in 2000 with a main goal to combat human trafficking rings. However, victims of other types of employer criminal activity can now qualify.

To qualify, you must show that you have suffered significant physical or mental abuse at the hands of someone engaged in criminal activity. You must also have information about the crimes committed by your employer—the kind of information that will lead to a successful prosecution of them. Your assistance to law enforcement must be certified on a Form I-918.

One of the most common ways to qualify for a U visa is to report an employer who uses your immigration status to deny you minimum wage, fails to provide a safe work environment, or commits acts of sexual or other types of violence against you.

It can be frightening and harrowing to work in America without documentation. You are rightfully fearful that if you resist the conditions under which you are forced to work or report the crimes committed against you and other undocumented workers you will be deported. Some employers count on this fear to continue their criminal enterprise. However, the U.S. government is as concerned with cracking down on companies that exploit and abuse people as they are in immigration enforcement. And you can earn your right to stay in the country by working with law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute business persons who do not follow the rules.

What You Witness Can Help You Get Your Visa

Here are some of the most common types of criminal activities that can help non-citizens get a U visa:

  1. Blackmail
    If your employer has threatened to report your immigration status if you refuse to submit to their terms of work, then you have been blackmailed and that is illegal. You can also report blackmail that you have witnessed.
  2. Trafficking
    The false recruitment, illegal transport, and forced imprisonment of people for the purposes of exploitative labor is a crime. If you have been the victim of human trafficking or have specifics on such an activity, reporting it can get you a U visa.
  3. Involuntary servitude
    This involves any activity or scheme that forces a person to work out of concern for what may happen to them or a loved one. Threats of bodily harm to you or a loved one, the confiscation of your passports and other identity documents, being locked up against your will, the denial of food, clothing, medical care, and other basic services—these are all instances of involuntary servitude. If you have been the victim of such a scheme or you know of it, then you can report to law enforcement with the hope of getting a U visa.
  4. Obstruction of justice
    An employer who destroys, alters, or falsifies work-related documents is guilty of this crime and should be reported.
  5. Witness tampering
    This involves threatening or intimidating a witness.
  6. Sex-related crimes
    If an employer engages in rape, sexual assault, forced prostitution, or other types of sexual exploitation, then they can be reported in exchange for a U visa.

Showing the Effects of the Abuse

To qualify for a U visa, you will need to demonstrate that you have suffered tremendously at the hands of your employer. You will need to prove the effects that the mental or physical abuse has had on you, and including well-documented photos of this evidence always helps your case. However, you should not be denied justice if there are no physical traces of your ordeal.

An immigration visa lawyer Los Angeles can help you make your case. A visa attorney for victims of crimes in Los Angeles like Alami Law will work with you to gather the evidence needed to demonstrate the substantial effects that your employer’s crimes had on you. All you need do is tell your visa attorney for victims of crimes in Los Angeles what you know about your employer and what you have experienced. They will then bring in professional investigators to investigate your claims and collect evidence.

A U visa attorney Los Angeles can also help you fill out the paperwork you will need for the visa. Your U visa attorney Los Angeles will also deal directly with law enforcement and immigration officials to ensure that you are treated fairly when it comes to receiving the visa.