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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of North Carolina

Monday, June 15, 2015

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.

Updated June 15, 2015