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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

Undocumented Victims Of 9/11

According to a New York Daily News report, 15 immigrants who fled the World Trade Center 9/11 attacks have been denied U-visa certification from the NY Police Department. The U visa grants people without legal status temporary relief if they can prove they have suffered substantial physical or mental harm in a crime. The NYPD maintains the issue is outside its jurisdiction and that only the FBI is authorized to issue such certifications, despite the fact that NYPD has issued U-visa certifications in the past. Although unintended for 9/11, three U visa cases have already been adjudicated for 9/11 victims, according to the Daily News article.

The runaround given to these individuals is shameful. These undocumented individuals were the victims of 9/11 and are being victimized again because of their undocumented status. The exact form of relief, U or otherwise, is certainly debatable. What we believe to be beyond debate is that some immigration relief is clearly warranted for the undocumented victims of 9/11. Those targeted by terrorists on 9/11 were targeted because they were Americans, al Qaeda did not and does not distinguish between documented and undocumented Americans. We are all in this war together and Congress should speedily fashion the appropriate relief for these unfortunate victims.

We welcome readers to share their opinion and ideas with us by writing to editor@ilw.com.



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