Congress created the U visa in 2000 to protect immigrant victims of crime, in particular those who are undocumented and fear deportation, and help police solve crimes. The visa can help victims get immigration status and ensure that criminals don’t operate with impunity.

But our analysis of policies from more than 100 agencies serving large immigrant communities found that nearly 1 of every 4 create barriers never envisioned under the U visa program. A review based on hundreds of police records and nearly 60 interviews found that victims are at the mercy of whatever internal rules police choose.

Is your police department putting up additional barriers for immigrants seeking a U visa? Sign up for our network, and you’ll get a set of resources that will help you dig into this issue in your community.