Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB2078
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Full Text of SB2078  102nd General Assembly

SB2078 102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY

  
  

 


 
102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY
State of Illinois
2021 and 2022
SB2078

 

Introduced 2/26/2021, by Sen. Cristina Castro

 

SYNOPSIS AS INTRODUCED:
 
5 ILCS 825/10

    Amends the Voices of Immigrant Communities Empowering Survivors (VOICES) Act. Deletes provision that a certifying official's completion of a certification form shall not be considered sufficient evidence that an applicant for a U or T visa has met all eligibility requirements for that visa and completion of a certification form by a certifying official shall not be construed to guarantee that the victim will receive federal immigration relief. Deletes provision that it is the exclusive responsibility of federal immigration officials to determine whether a person is eligible for a U or T visa. Deletes provision that completion of a certification form by a certifying official merely verifies factual information relevant to the federal immigration benefit sought, including information relevant for federal immigration officials to determine eligibility for a U or T visa.


LRB102 16577 RLC 21974 b

 

 

A BILL FOR

 

SB2078LRB102 16577 RLC 21974 b

1    AN ACT concerning government.
 
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
 
4    Section 5. The Voices of Immigrant Communities Empowering
5Survivors (VOICES) Act is amended by changing Section 10 as
6follows:
 
7    (5 ILCS 825/10)
8    Sec. 10. Certifications for victims of qualifying criminal
9activity.
10    (a) The head of each certifying agency shall designate an
11official or officials in supervisory roles, either within the
12agency or, by agreement with another agency with concurrent
13jurisdiction over the geographic area or subject matter
14covered by that agency, within that other agency. Designated
15officials may not be members of a collective bargaining unit
16represented by a labor organization, unless the official is an
17attorney or is employed in an agency in which all supervisory
18officials are members of a collective bargaining unit.
19Certifying officials shall:
20        (1) respond to requests for completion of
21    certification forms received by the agency, as required by
22    this Section; and
23        (2) make information regarding the agency's procedures

 

 

SB2078- 2 -LRB102 16577 RLC 21974 b

1    for certification requests publicly available for victims
2    of qualifying criminal activity and their representatives.
3    (b) Any person seeking completion of a certification form
4shall first submit a request for completion of the
5certification form to the certifying official for any
6certifying agency that detected, investigated, or prosecuted
7the criminal activity upon which the request is based.
8    (c) A request for completion of a certification form under
9this Section may be submitted by a representative of the
10person seeking the certification form, including, but not
11limited to, an attorney, accredited representative, or
12domestic violence or sexual assault services provider.
13    (d) Upon receiving a request for completion of a
14certification form, a certifying official shall complete the
15certification form for any victim of qualifying criminal
16activity. If the certifying official cannot determine that the
17applicant is a victim of qualifying criminal activity, the
18certifying official may provide written notice to the person
19or the person's representative explaining why the available
20evidence does not support a finding that the person is a victim
21of qualifying criminal activity. The certifying official shall
22complete the certification form and provide it to the person
23within 90 business days of receiving the request, except:
24        (1) if the person making the request for completion of
25    the certification form is in federal immigration removal
26    proceedings or detained, the certifying official shall

 

 

SB2078- 3 -LRB102 16577 RLC 21974 b

1    complete and provide the certification form to the person
2    no later than 21 business days after the request is
3    received by the certifying agency;
4        (2) if the children, parents, or siblings of the
5    person making the request for completion of the
6    certification form would become ineligible for benefits
7    under Sections 1184(p) and 1184(o) of Title 8 of the
8    United States Code by virtue of the person's children
9    having reached the age of 21 years, the person having
10    reached the age of 21 years, or the person's sibling
11    having reached the age of 18 years within 90 business days
12    from the date that the certifying official receives the
13    certification request, the certifying official shall
14    complete and provide the certification form to the person
15    no later than 21 business days after the request is
16    received by the certifying agency;
17        (3) if the person's children, parents, or siblings
18    under paragraph (2) of this subsection (d) would become
19    ineligible for benefits under Sections 1184(p) and 1184(o)
20    of Title 8 of the United States Code in less than 21
21    business days of receipt of the certification request, the
22    certifying official shall complete and provide a
23    certification form to the person within 5 business days;
24    or
25        (4) a certifying official may extend the time period
26    by which it must complete and provide the certification

 

 

SB2078- 4 -LRB102 16577 RLC 21974 b

1    form to the person as required under this subsection (d)
2    only upon written agreement with the person or person's
3    representative.
4    Requests for expedited completion of a certification form
5under paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of this subsection (d)
6shall be affirmatively raised by the person or that person's
7representative in writing to the certifying agency and shall
8establish that the person is eligible for expedited review.
9    (e) A certifying official who issued an initial
10certification form shall complete and reissue a certification
11form within 90 business days of receiving a request from a
12victim to reissue. If the victim seeking recertification has a
13deadline to respond to a request for evidence from United
14States Citizenship and Immigration Services, the certifying
15official shall complete and issue the form no later than 21
16business days after the request is received by the certifying
17official. Requests for expedited recertification shall be
18affirmatively raised by the victim or victim's representative
19in writing and shall establish that the victim is eligible for
20expedited review. A certifying official may extend the
21deadline by which he or she will complete and reissue the
22certification form only upon written agreement with the victim
23or victim's representative.
24    (f) (Blank). Notwithstanding any other provision of this
25Section, a certifying official's completion of a certification
26form shall not be considered sufficient evidence that an

 

 

SB2078- 5 -LRB102 16577 RLC 21974 b

1applicant for a U or T visa has met all eligibility
2requirements for that visa and completion of a certification
3form by a certifying official shall not be construed to
4guarantee that the victim will receive federal immigration
5relief. It is the exclusive responsibility of federal
6immigration officials to determine whether a person is
7eligible for a U or T visa. Completion of a certification form
8by a certifying official merely verifies factual information
9relevant to the federal immigration benefit sought, including
10information relevant for federal immigration officials to
11determine eligibility for a U or T visa. By completing a
12certification form, the certifying official attests that the
13information is true and correct to the best of the certifying
14official's knowledge. No provision in this Act limits the
15manner in which a certifying officer or certifying agency may
16describe whether the person has cooperated or been helpful to
17the agency or provide any additional information the
18certifying officer or certifying agency believes might be
19relevant to a federal immigration officer's adjudication of a
20U or T visa application. If, after completion of a
21certification form, the certifying official later determines
22the person was not the victim of qualifying criminal activity
23or the victim unreasonably refuses to assist in the
24investigation or prosecution of the qualifying criminal
25activity of which he or she is a victim, the certifying
26official may notify United States Citizenship and Immigration

 

 

SB2078- 6 -LRB102 16577 RLC 21974 b

1Services in writing.
2    (g) A certifying official or agency receiving requests for
3completion of certification forms shall not disclose the
4immigration status of a victim or person requesting the
5certification form, except to comply with federal law or State
6law, legal process, or if authorized, by the victim or person
7requesting the certification form.
8(Source: P.A. 100-1115, eff. 1-1-19.)