Biden grants "victim visas" to three illegal immigrants, allowing them to legally live and work in the country

The federal administration granted them U visas to work legally, as well as protection from deportation.

In 2022, Republican officials in states affected by the immigration crisis began sending newly arrived immigrants to Democratic-run cities in the middle of the country. One of them was Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who followed in the footsteps of Texas Governor Greg Abbott and chartered two flights loaded with immigrants bound for Martha's Vineyard, an island off the coast of Massachusetts where the per capita income and standard of living far exceed the national average. Now, some of those immigrants who were transferred to the island have been given a visa to be able to work legally in the country and protection from deportation.

Specifically, three of them benefited from these measures. In statements reported by The Boston Globe, attorney Rachel M. Self, who has been representing these immigrants since they were sent to Martha's Vineyard by DeSantis, stated that "these determinations are one step closer to justice."

USCIS: They are "victims of certain crimes"

The lawyer's statement key to understanding why these immigrants received working rights and why they are now protected against deportation. In 2021, the federal administration, through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), began granting U visas, U nonimmigrant status, to "victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity."

The government supports its decision and is aware that several of these immigrants claimed that they were deceived when they were promised money and job opportunities, thus facilitating a state investigation. According to Hemanth C. Gundavaram, director of the Immigrant Justice Clinic at Northeastern University School of Law, "this is a harm reduction provision," adding that "if you didn’t have these protections, someone would have to stay here, worry about deportation, and not be able to make a living."

So far, only three such immigrants have received these benefits, although it is expected that more will be granted soon.