Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB0034
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Full Text of SB0034  100th General Assembly


Sen. John J. Cullerton

Filed: 4/20/2018





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend Senate Bill 34 by replacing
3everything after the enacting clause with the following:
4    "Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
5Voices of Immigrant Communities Empowering Survivors (VOICES)
7    Section 5. Definitions. In this Act:
8    "Certification form" means a law enforcement certification
9form or statement required by federal immigration law
10certifying that a person is a victim of qualifying criminal
11activity including, but not limited to, the information
12required by Section 1184(p) of Title 8 of the United States
13Code, including current United States Citizenship and
14Immigration Services Form I-918, Supplement B, or any successor
15form for purposes of obtaining a U visa or by Section 1184(o)
16of Title 8 of the United States Code, including current United



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1States Citizenship and Immigration Services Form I-914,
2Supplement B, or any successor form for purposes of obtaining a
3T visa.
4    "Certifying agency" means a State or local law enforcement
5agency, prosecutor, or other public authority that has
6responsibility for the investigation or prosecution of a
7qualifying crime or criminal activity, including an agency that
8has criminal investigative jurisdiction in its respective
9areas of expertise, including the Department of Labor, the
10Department of Children and Family Services, the Department of
11Human Services, and the Illinois Workers' Compensation
12Commission, but not including any State court.
13    "Qualifying criminal activity" means any activity,
14regardless of the stage of detection, investigation, or
15prosecution, designated in Section 1101(a)(15)(U)(iii) of
16Title 8 of the United States Code, any implementing federal
17regulations, supplementary information, guidance, and
19    "Victim of qualifying criminal activity" means a person
20described in Section 1101(a)(15)(U)(i)(I) of Title 8 of the
21United States Code, in the definition of "victim of a severe
22form of trafficking" in Section 7102(14) of Title 22 of the
23United States Code, or in any implementing federal regulations,
24supplementary information, guidance, and instructions.
25    Section 10. Certifications for victims of qualifying



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1criminal activity.
2    (a) The head of each certifying agency shall designate an
3official or officials in supervisory roles, either within the
4agency or, by agreement with another agency with concurrent
5jurisdiction over the geographic area or subject matter covered
6by that agency, within that other agency. Designated officials
7may not be members of a collective bargaining unit represented
8by a labor organization, unless the official is an attorney or
9is employed in an agency in which all supervisory officials are
10members of a collective bargaining unit. Certifying officials
12        (1) respond to requests for completion of
13    certification forms received by the agency, as required by
14    this Section; and
15        (2) make information regarding the agency's procedures
16    for certification requests publicly available for victims
17    of qualifying criminal activity and their representatives.
18    (b) Any person seeking completion of a certification form
19shall first submit a request for completion of the
20certification form to the certifying official for any
21certifying agency that detected, investigated, or prosecuted
22the criminal activity upon which the request is based.
23    (c) A request for completion of a certification form under
24this Section may be submitted by a representative of the person
25seeking the certification form, including, but not limited to,
26an attorney, accredited representative, or domestic violence



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1or sexual assault services provider.
2    (d) Upon receiving a request for completion of a
3certification form, a certifying official shall complete the
4certification form for any victim of qualifying criminal
5activity. If the certifying official cannot determine that the
6applicant is a victim of qualifying criminal activity, the
7certifying official may provide written notice to the person or
8the person's representative explaining why the available
9evidence does not support a finding that the person is a victim
10of qualifying criminal activity. The certifying official shall
11complete the certification form and provide it to the person
12within 90 business days of receiving the request, except:
13        (1) if the person making the request for completion of
14    the certification form is in federal immigration removal
15    proceedings or detained, the certifying official shall
16    complete and provide the certification form to the person
17    no later than 21 business days after the request is
18    received by the certifying agency;
19        (2) if the children, parents, or siblings of the person
20    making the request for completion of the certification form
21    would become ineligible for benefits under Sections
22    1184(p) and 1184(o) of Title 8 of the United States Code by
23    virtue of the person's children having reached the age of
24    21 years, the person having reached the age of 21 years, or
25    the person's sibling having reached the age of 18 years
26    within 90 business days from the date that the certifying



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1    official receives the certification request, the
2    certifying official shall complete and provide the
3    certification form to the person no later than 21 business
4    days after the request is received by the certifying
5    agency;
6        (3) if the person's children, parents, or siblings
7    under paragraph (2) of this subsection (d) would become
8    ineligible for benefits under Sections 1184(p) and 1184(o)
9    of Title 8 of the United States Code in less than 21
10    business days of receipt of the certification request, the
11    certifying official shall complete and provide a
12    certification form to the person within 5 business days; or
13        (4) a certifying official may extend the time period by
14    which it must complete and provide the certification form
15    to the person as required under this subsection (d) only
16    upon written agreement with the person or person's
17    representative.
18    Requests for expedited completion of a certification form
19under paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of this subsection (d) shall
20be affirmatively raised by the person or that person's
21representative in writing to the certifying agency and shall
22establish that the person is eligible for expedited review.
23    (e) A certifying official who issued an initial
24certification form shall complete and reissue a certification
25form within 90 business days of receiving a request from a
26victim to reissue. If the victim seeking recertification has a



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1deadline to respond to a request for evidence from United
2States Citizenship and Immigration Services, the certifying
3official shall complete and issue the form no later than 21
4business days after the request is received by the certifying
5official. Requests for expedited recertification shall be
6affirmatively raised by the victim or victim's representative
7in writing and shall establish that the victim is eligible for
8expedited review. A certifying official may extend the deadline
9by which he or she will complete and reissue the certification
10form only upon written agreement with the victim or victim's
12    (f) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Section, a
13certifying official's completion of a certification form shall
14not be considered sufficient evidence that an applicant for a U
15or T visa has met all eligibility requirements for that visa
16and completion of a certification form by a certifying official
17shall not be construed to guarantee that the victim will
18receive federal immigration relief. It is the exclusive
19responsibility of federal immigration officials to determine
20whether a person is eligible for a U or T visa. Completion of a
21certification form by a certifying official merely verifies
22factual information relevant to the federal immigration
23benefit sought, including information relevant for federal
24immigration officials to determine eligibility for a U or T
25visa. By completing a certification form, the certifying
26official attests that the information is true and correct to



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1the best of the certifying official's knowledge. If, after
2completion of a certification form, the certifying official
3later determines the person was not the victim of qualifying
4criminal activity or the victim unreasonably refuses to assist
5in the investigation or prosecution of the qualifying criminal
6activity of which he or she is a victim, the certifying
7official may notify United States Citizenship and Immigration
8Services in writing.
9    (g) A certifying official or agency receiving requests for
10completion of certification forms shall not disclose the
11immigration status of a victim or person requesting the
12certification form, except to comply with federal law or State
13law, legal process, or if authorized, by the victim or person
14requesting the certification form.
15    Section 15. Immunity. A certifying agency or certifying
16official acting or failing to act in good faith in compliance
17with this Act shall have immunity from civil or criminal
18liability that might otherwise occur as a result of so acting
19or failing to act, with the exception of willful or wanton
20misconduct. Any action brought to seek enforcement of this Act
21shall be ineligible to seek attorney's fees and costs, unless
22the action demonstrates willful or wanton misconduct by a
23certifying agency or certifying official.".