Although many people are well aware of the common issues that face illegal
immigrants, there is one underlying issue that is not broadly publicized.
Unless this key issue is properly addressed, however, it will continue
to plague undocumented immigrants and their families. That is the issue
of what should an illegal immigrant do if they find themselves the victim
of a crime? For American citizens, there is no real question as to what
you should do. When a crime occurs, you contact the authorities and seek
medical attention for your injuries.
For anyone who is illegally in the country, they do not necessarily see
things quite as black and white. From their viewpoint, regardless of their
injuries, or the fact that they were the victim of a crime, their primary
objective is to stay off the radar so they can continue to live and work
in the states. If that means they have to suffer in silence, many admit
they would much rather do that than face the possibility of being deported.
Police officials, on the other hand, stress the fact that they are more
concerned with an individual being the victim of a crime, or a witness
to a crime, than they are of someone's immigration status. In fact,
there is a special visa that can be issued to crime victims who are in
the country illegally. The "U Visa" actually allows the victim
of certain crimes to remain in the country, for a period of up to four
years, providing they fully cooperate with authorities to prosecute those
responsible for committing the crime.
Unfortunately for one victim, 37-year-old Fernando Garnica, his fear of
deportation not only prevented him from reporting a January 20th robbery
and subsequent beating to local authorities, but it kept him from seeking
much needed medical attention. Despite pleas from his roommates, and others,
Garnica refused to seek help. After five days of being bedridden and not
eating, Garnica finally collapsed on the floor of his apartment. As a
result, his roommate who had been attempting to care for him, contacted
the building's manager, who then contacted emergency personnel. Even
though Garnica was rushed to a local hospital, he succumbed to his injuries
later that day.
As the victim of a crime, you owe it to yourself to alert the authorities
and seek medical attention for your injuries. Do not let your immigration
status jeopardize your health or your rights. Contact an experienced
Orlando immigration lawyer at Robert Brown LLC right away if you have questions about your immigration
status, or you need legal representation in any sort of immigration-related matter.