Brooklyn domestic violence victims say feds broke visa promise

Immigrant women who've helped Brooklyn and city district attorneys complain the government hasn't kept its word about visas.Domestic violence victims joined organizations, such as Sanctuary

BROOKLYN - Immigrant women who've helped Brooklyn and city district attorneys complain the government hasn't kept its word about visas.

Domestic violence victims joined organizations, such as Sanctuary for Families, Wednesday on the steps of City Hall. They announced a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. According to attorneys, the government has failed to implement 7-year-old legislation that provides "U" visas to domestic violence victims who assist law enforcement in prosecuting their spouses. The visas are supposed to lead to permanent residency for victims and their children.

However, after thousands of applications from Brooklyn and U.S. residents, the feds have yet to issue a single "U" visa. The Department of Homeland Security counters that giving out the visas is difficult because so many agencies are involved in the process.

The lawsuit was filed in San Francisco. Attorneys are seeking class-action status.

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