Safety and Access for Immigrant Victims Program
In June of 2018, the Washington State Legislature passed the Safety and Access for Immigrant Victims Act. The goal of this bill is to promote consistent and equal treatment and offer protections to immigrant victims statewide. Ensuring that all victims of crime are able to access the protections available to them under the law is in the best interest of victims, law enforcement and the entire community.
For Victims / Survivors
Para Victimas / Sobrevivientes
For Certifying Agencies and Officials
RCW 7.98.020 (6)(c) requires each certifying agency identified in RCW 7.98 to keeping written documentation of the following:
- The number of certification forms requested
- The number of certification forms signed
- The number of certification forms denied
- The number of certification forms withdrawn
Reports are due to the Office of Crime Victims Advocacy by August 15th of every year for the state fiscal year time period: July 1 – June 30.
Link to Certifying Agency Reporting Form for July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022
Link to Certifying Agency Resource and Data dashboard
Concerns and Recommendations
RCW 7.98 requires that the Crime Victim Certification Steering Committee establish mechanisms for the public to report concerns and offer recommendations on the implementation of the Safety and Access for Immigrant Victims Act. There are several ways that you can report your concerns or recommendations below.
Complete via the web: Concerns Reporting Form (web form)
Email or Mail: Concerns Reporting Form – English (PDF)
Formulario de informe de inquietudes del Comité Directivo de Certificación para las Víctimas de la Delincuencia—Concerns Reporting Form–Spanish (pdf)
نموذج الإبلاغ عن المخاوف إلى اللجنة التوجيهية لتوثيق أحوال ضحايا الجرائم—Concerns Reporting Form–Arabic (pdf)
Форма сообщения о проблемах Координационного комитета по сертификации жертв преступлений—Concerns Reporting Form–Russian (pdf)
犯罪受害人认证指导委员会问题报告表—Concerns Reporting Form–Chinese Simplified (pdf)
Biểu Mẫu Báo Cáo Quan Ngại Cho Ban Chỉ Đạo Chứng Nhận Nạn Nhân Của Hành Vi Phạm Tội—Concerns Reporting Form–Vietnamese (pdf)
범죄 피해자 인증서 운영 위원회우려 사항 보고 양식—Concerns Reporting Form–Korean (pdf)
Form Para sa Pag-uulat ng Mga Alalahanin sa Pumapatnubay na Komite Para sa Sertipikasyon ng Biktima ng Krimen—Concerns Reporting Form–Tagalog (pdf)
- Requires certifying agencies (defined as law enforcement, prosecutors, administrative judges, hearing officers and agencies that have investigative jurisdiction in their respective area of expertise) to do the following:
- Make a determination that a victim was a victim of a qualified crime.
- Make a determination that the victim has been helpful; is currently being helpful; or is likely to be helpful in the detention, investigation, and prosecution of the criminal activity.
- Documented the above information appropriately on the federal U and T visa certification forms.
- Process the certifications within 90 days of the request, unless the victim is in federal immigration removal proceedings, in which the request must be processed within 14 days.
- Identify an individual at their agency that is responsible for responding to certification requests.
- Provide outreach and education to the community regarding U and T visa certifications.
- Provide documentation of the number of certifications signed, denied, and/or withdrawn to the Office of Crime Victims Advocacy (OCVA) annually.
2. Ensures that certifying agencies have language access protocols for Limited English Proficiency (LEP) and deaf and hard of hearing victims.
3. Provides confidentiality for victims, in that certifying agencies are not to disclose personal identifying information and immigration status unless disclosure is required under relevant federal law or court order.
4. Requires that OCVA convene a Crime Victim Certification Steering Committee.
The U non-immigrant status (U visa) is set aside for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation and prosecution of criminal activity. You can read more about the U Visa here.
The T non-immigrant status (T visa) is a temporary immigration benefit that enables certain victims of a severe form of human trafficking to remain in the United States for up to four years if they have assisted law enforcement in an investigation or prosecution of human trafficking. You can read more about the T Visa here.
Crime Victim Certification Steering Committee
This committee, convened by the Office of Crime Victims Advocacy, includes members representing the best interest of immigrant crime victims.
Immigrant Victims Infographic (pdf)
Meeting Schedule (pdf)
Meeting Minutes (pdf)
Annual Reporting Dashboard
Safety and Access for Immigrant Victims Act Fact Sheet – English (PDF)
Seguridad y Acceso para Víctimas Inmigrantes – Español (PDF)
Безопасность и доступ для жертв-иммигрантов – испанский (PDF)
移民受害者的安全和获取 – 西班牙语 (PDF)
An toàn và tiếp cận cho nạn nhân nhập cư – Tây Ban Nha (PDF)
이민자 희생자를위한 안전과 접근 – 스페인어 (PDF)
Kaligtasan at Access para sa mga Biktima ng Imigrante – Espanyol (PDF)
News and Updates
In limbo: Immigrant survivors of domestic violence, rape, face deportation as they seek relief (Seattle PI)
New Immigration Crackdowns Creating ‘Chilling Effect’ On Crime Reporting (NPR)
Op-ed: Crackdown on immigrants undermines public safety (Seattle Times)
Should a jury know a person’s immigration status: Washington high court says no with groundbreaking rule (Seattle Times)