New Report on LEP and Immigrant Crime Victims' Access to Police Assistance by NIWAP

In March of 2013, the¬†National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project (NIWAP)¬†at American University Washington College of Law conducted a nationwide survey of immigrant victim‚Äôs advocates and attorneys to learn about the experiences immigrant and LEP victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking and other crimes have in their interactions with law enforcement.
The linked report , National Survey of Service Providers on Police Response to Immigrant
Crime Victims, U Visa Certification and Language Access,  presents findings from the survey in which 722 agencies responded from 50 jurisdictions, reporting on the experiences of over 22,000 immigrant crime victims. The survey focused on two main issues: U visa certification and access to police assistance for Limited English Proficient and immigrant clients.

Part One of the report focuses on findings regarding application and implementation of the U visa. The responses highlight the need for:

  • Increasing the U visa Cap;
  • Removing the supervisor certification requirement; and
  • Making changes to DHS policies and regulations to effectively help immigrant crime victims and encourage their trust and use of the justice system protections
Part Two of the report focuses on findings regarding language access for Limited English Proficient (LEP) crime victim clients. Some of the more concerning findings include:
  • Police used unqualified interpreters in 30% of reported cases;
  • The police spoke only with the perpetrator who spoke English in 8.1% of domestic violence cases and 10.7% of sexual assault cases; and
  • The police did not take reports in 9.6% of sexual assault cases; in 10.4% of domestic violence cases and 11.8% of human trafficking case involving immigrant crime victim clients.
The full report includes an in depth analysis of the survey responses and policy recommendations.