‘Crime Victim’ Visas Approved For Migrants Who Were Flown To Martha’s Vineyard

 Several of the illegal immigrants Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis flew to Martha’s Vineyard in 2022 have since been approved for U-visas — based on claims that they were the victims of a crime.

According to a report published Monday by The Boston Globe, three of the 49 illegal immigrants who were transported from San Antonio, Texas, to Florida and then to Martha’s Vineyard have been granted what’s called a “bona fide determination” – meaning that they qualify for a U-visa but have not yet received it.

U-visas are typically “set aside for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity,” according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

And in this particular case, they cooperated with a Bexar County Sheriff’s investigation into whether any of them had been lured or coerced into getting on the flights. The investigation lasted about one month, and Sheriff Javier Salazar concluded that the illegal immigrants involved had been “lured … under false pretenses” to board the planes and then said they were “unceremoniously stranded” upon their arrival in Martha’s Vineyard. DeSantis has repeatedly denied any coercion, saying that all migrants boarded the flights “voluntarily.”


Official U-visas could take up to ten years to approve because Congress only allows 10,000 to be issued annually — but the “bona fide determinations” protect recipients from deportation until their visas arrive and allow them to legally work in the United States during that time as well. U-visas also put recipients on a path to obtaining green cards.

Hemanth C. Gundavaram, co-founder and director of the Immigrant Justice Clinic at Northeastern University School of Law, explained to The Globe that the goal was to help correct for “a failure in our system,” noting that in order to qualify for U-visas, the illegal immigrants must first be shown to be the victims of crimes and then had to assist law enforcement or the government in any investigation that followed.

“This is a harm reduction provision. If you didn’t have these protections, someone would have to stay here, worry about deportation, and not be able to make a living,” he said.

‘Crime Victim’ Visas Approved For Migrants Who Were Flown To Martha’s Vineyard ‘Crime Victim’ Visas Approved For Migrants Who Were Flown To Martha’s Vineyard Reviewed by Your Destination on April 24, 2024 Rating: 5

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