Florida Immigration Attorneys

Protection for Immigrant Victims of Crime

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 atBrown Immigration Law right away if you have questions about your immigration status, or you need legal representation in any sort of immigration-related matter.