After Congress later included U-Visas as a component of the Battered Women’s Protection Act in 2000, Ping and her attorney began working with the NYPD, a step that ultimately creates a pathway to citizenship for those who were victims of a violent crime.
Councilman Daniel Dromm has since worked with Ping’s attorney Daniel Worontzoff to ensure that her paperwork was finalized, enabling officers to pursue the case as well as get Ping citizenship, a process that was just completed this year.
Worontzoff explained that the whole point of the legislation was to create an incentive for immigrants to come forward and help catch violent criminals.
“Without the protections a U-visa can offer, undocumented immigrants would be easy targets for predatory criminals,” Worontzoff said. “With the dedication of those in law enforcement and government, the program can operate effectively.”
Dromm explained that many immigrants fear the possibility of deportation, so building a trust with the local police force has been a challenge for immigrants in the past.
“These types of problems are happening to our immigrant communities everyday, and often we can’t get the certification from the NYPD,” Dromm said in front of his district office in Jackson Heights earlier this week. “We are hoping with the change of the administration that will also change, and it’s time for it to change.”
Dromm explained that Ping was fortunate in her case, however many immigrants are not aware of U-Visas as well as the responsibility that the NYPD has in their work with the immigrant community.
“A lot of people do not know this relief is available to them,” Dromm said.