HRI Success Story: U-Visa Victory

HRI pro bono attorneys Arrissa Meyer and Nicole Somerville, with one of our premier pro bono firms, Haynes and Boone, just won a significant U Visa case. To obtain a U Visa, our client must prove that he or she:

  • Has suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as the direct or indirect victim of a crime.
  • Possesses information concerning that criminal activity;
  • Has been helpful, is being helpful, or is likely to help in the investigation or prosecution of the crime;
  • Has a certification from a law enforcement authority certifying his or her aid in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity; and
  • The criminal activity was a violent crime that occurred in the United States and violated U.S. law.

Our client is a young immigrant woman, married with two children. In the Fall of 2010 while walking outside their apartment, she and her husband were approached by an unknown male who held her husband at gunpoint and demanded that she give him her purse. She tried to run for help by knocking on a neighbor’s door, but she was rejected when she told the neighbor about the situation and asked for help. In a struggle with the perpetrator, her husband was shot in the back. As soon as she heard the gunshot, she ran to find that her husband was lying in a pool of blood. She reached for his cell phone and called 911.

Her husband survived the shooting, but this event has severely impacted their family, especially their two children. The children are very afraid when approached by strangers and they have been in counseling for this tragic event. She is presently working with Arlington Police Department to prosecute the perpetrator. The Police Department was investigating the case as a burglary, which is not a qualifying crime to get a U-Visa. However, with the help of attorneys Arrissa Meyer and Nicole Somerville, our client was able to obtian a U-Visa. They successfully argued to USCIS that if the perpetrator is found and charged, he can also be charged with aggravated assault, which is a qualifying crime to get a U-Visa. The U-Visa will help the client start a new life in the United States.

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