INDIANAPOLIS- The House Veterans Affairs and Public Safety Committee unanimously approved a proposal on Tuesday to require law enforcement agencies to continue education on cultural diversity and U nonimmigrant Visas (U-Visas). Senate Bill (SB) 343, authored by Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane (D- Anderson), would benefit people who do not hold legal status in the United States and are victims of violent crimes.
An understanding of the U-Visa process by law enforcement officers is important as certification of a victim’s cooperation by an officer is a prerequisite to receiving U-Visa status with the federal government.
“This proposal not only ensures that our law enforcement officials have proper cultural diversity training, but the U-visa provision protects those individuals without legal status that have been affected by violent crime,” said. Sen. Lanane. “Offering this temporary visa to these individuals will help to ensure justice is served.”
Sen. Lanane emphasized that SB 343 would not serve as a shortcut to citizenship, but instead a vehicle for cooperation. Law enforcement agencies would be educated on the purpose of U-Visas and their role as an authorizer. Law enforcement officers would only be liable for indicating whether a victim was cooperative or are likely to be helpful in the future.
The proposal was passed by the committee unanimously. It will now be considered by the full House of Representatives.
Sen. Lanane represents Indiana Senate District 25 includes the portions of Madison and Delaware counties, including the City of Muncie and the southeastern portion of the City of Anderson. For more information on Sen. Lanane, his legislative agenda or other State Senate business call 1-800-382-9467 or visit www.IN.gov/S25 .