Undocumented Pulse Survivors In Legal Limbo
Some of the undocumented immigrant survivors of the Pulse tragedy are in legal limbo. They’re trying to get a visa under a special category- for victims of certain crimes who assist law enforcement in investigations. Immigration Attorney Raquel Santiago is helping out one person from Honduras and another from Guatemala.
They're trying to get a U-visa. It provides legal status for at least four years and gives people a work permit. The U.S. has a cap of 10,000 U-visas per year. Santiago said there are more applicants than available visas, creating long wait times. She said the estimated time for an applicant to get a decision is more than 18 months.
A year after the Pulse shooting, these two survivors are still waiting.
After three years of having this visa approved, a person can apply for a green card, or legal permanent residency. That's if they meet certain requirements including keeping a clean criminal record.
" A U-visa is a door that you can cross in order to have, eventually a green card or U.S. citizenship," said Santiago.
Listen to the interview in the audio player above to hear more about the immigration process for undocumented immigrant survivors of the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.