New Resources from KCSDV
U Visa Manual
KCSDV published two new resources this spring designed to improve services to immigrant and limited-English-proficient survivors.
KCSDV’s U Visa Manual for Law Enforcement, Prosecutors, and Judges provides an overview of U visas and practical guidance and tips for law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges in filling out and signing U visa certifications of helpfulness. Congress created the U visa in 2000 as a tool to help law enforcement and prosecutors be better able to investigate and prosecute serious crimes committed against immigrants.
Immigrants lacking stable immigration status and fearing removal (deportation) are often reluctant to report crimes committed against them, including domestic and sexual violence. U visas are temporary visas that offer lawful immigration status and work authorization for immigrants who suffer substantial mental or physical harm as the result of being the victims of certain types of serious crimes and who are helpful to the authorities in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity.
A required piece of a U visa application is a certification form signed by an agency with investigative or prosecutorial authority that the applicant is a victim of qualifying criminal activity, has information about the crime, and was or is likely to be helpful in the investigation or prosecution.
KCSDV’s U Visa Manual for Law Enforcement, Prosecutors, and Judges, available in print and electronic versions, will be distributed to more than 200 law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and judges across Kansas. It includes information and guidance addressing:
- Which agencies and officers can sign U visa certifications
- Section-by-section tips on completing a U visa certification form
- Scenarios illustrating a victim’s helpfulness at different points in the criminal, civil, and juvenile justice system
- Frequently asked questions about U visas and U visa certifications
- Relevant statutes, regulations, and Congressional Purpose and Findings
- A chart of potentially qualifying crimes under Kansas law
- A quick reference sheet with U visa eligibility requirements and certification tips
Toolkit for Interpreters
Survivors with limited English Proficiency also often face challenges in accessing everyday services, information, and help. KCSDV recognizes the need to address language access both on a systemic level as well as on an individual level to ensure sexual and domestic violence service in Kansas are accessible to all survivors, regardless of their language ability. Because of this KCSDV has produced the Working Together to Meet Language Access and Limited English Proficient (LEP) Needs of Survivors: A Resource Guide and Toolkit for Interpreters and Sexual and Domestic Violence Advocacy Programs in Kansas (Resource Guide and Toolkit). The Resource Guide and Toolkit is designed to help Kansas sexual and domestic violence advocacy programs:
- Understand the requirements and importance of providing language access to survivors;
- Work with and provide information to interpreters on issues of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking; and
- Have tools and resources that can be used to provide meaningful language access and advocacy services to LEP survivors.
In addition, the Resource Guide and Toolkit is designed to help interpreters:
- Understand the issues of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking and the services sexual and domestic violence advocacy programs provide for survivors and their children;
- Identify and address ethical obligations and confidentiality requirements when working with sexual and domestic violence advocacy programs; and
- Have tools and resources that can be used to provide meaningful access and interpretation services on behalf of LEP survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.