Gaston County Prosecutor To Make U Visa Certification Decisions In Accordance With Federal Guidance
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – In May 2015, federal officials from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina met with Gaston County District Attorney, Locke Bell regarding when to certify so-called “U visas,” announced Jill Westmoreland Rose, Acting U.S. Attorney Office for the Western District of North Carolina. The U visa allows a victim of certain qualifying crimes to temporarily remain in the United States to help law enforcement investigate or prosecute the perpetrator. However, a victim is not eligible for a U visa unless the prosecutor or head of the law enforcement agency certifies, among other things, that he or she has been a victim of a qualifying crime and has been, is being, or is likely to be helpful in the investigation or prosecution. Mr. Bell agreed to make U visa certifications without reference to nationality, as is consistent with applicable federal statutes. Mr. Bell authorized this release.