After waiting several months, Springfield man has U-Visa request denied
SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - Many immigrants in Springfield say that the political climate in the country has them concerned.
One resident in Springfield says that a lot of them still fear law enforcement, mainly due to their immigration status.
One man, who asked to remain anonymous due to his immigration status, says that he's been trying to get a U-Visa for the past several months, but on Tuesday he was denied by the Springfield Police Department.
The man remembers when he was assaulted back in 2011 like it was yesterday. The assault left him unconscious with a broke nose, and his attorney, Abigale Molina, says this incident qualified him for a U-Visa.
"Provide protection for victims of violent crimes, and at the same time, motivate people to cooperate with the law investigation," said Molina.
Molina says that in order for someone to get a U-Visa, the Law Enforcement's Office must certify the applicant was the victim of a crime.
Molina's client has waited several months for something that Molina says usually doesn't take very long.
Finally, on Tuesday, after reaching out to the Springfield Police Chief, Richard Lewis, the request was denied.
Lewis says it was because the assault was not a felony, it was only a misdemeanor, something that Molina says creates a chilling effect in the community.
"I think it sends a message that even if you are a victim of a crime, if you are an immigrant, you won't be able to use the legal resources available to you," said Molina.
As for Molina's client, he says that the truth is that it's time to say goodbye to the country he and his family have called home for the last 18 years.
"It's going to be strange, because they don't know anything else besides the U.S.," said the client. "They don't know anybody down there except for me and their mother."
Now, the man wants his story to encourage the immigrant community to not be afraid, but to continue reaching out for help.