What is the VOICES Act?
The Voices of Immigrant Communities Empowering Act, also known as the VOICES Act, was recently amended by the Illinois Way Forward Act (Public Act 102-0234). The VOICES Act allows “victims of qualifying criminal activity” to request a “certification form” or a law enforcement certification form or statement required by federal immigration law certifying that a person is a victim of qualifying criminal activity for use in applying for a U-Visa or T-Visa under the United States Code.
Links to the Act
The Illinois Way Forward Act (Public Act 102-0234) can be found here: https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=102-0234&GA=102
The Illinois VOICES ACT (5 ILCS 825/1) can be found here:
Who is eligible to participate?
Those individuals who are identified as “victims of qualifying criminal activity” as defined in the act who were involved in an incident investigated by the Lake Zurich Police Department.
"Victim of qualifying criminal activity" means a person described in Section 1101(a)(15)(U)(i)(I) of Title 8 of the United States Code, in the definition of "victim of a severe form of trafficking" in Section 7102(14) of Title 22 of the United States Code, or in any implementing federal regulations, supplementary information, guidance, and instructions.
"Qualifying criminal activity" means any activity, regardless of the stage of detection, investigation, or prosecution, designated in Section 1101(a)(15)(U)(iii) of Title 8 of the United States Code, any implementing federal regulations, supplementary information, guidance, and instructions.
How long does it take to get a law enforcement certification response?
If the Certifying Official determines the requester of a U-Visa or T-Visa is a victim of qualifying criminal activity or human trafficking, the Certifying Official must complete the certification or declaration form and provide it to the requester within ninety (90) of receiving the request, except that if the person making the request is in federal immigration removal proceedings or detained, the Certifying Official must complete the certification or declaration form and provide it to the requester within twenty-one (21) business days. Reduced time limits are in place for requests in cases involving reduced federal benefits for children, parents, or siblings of the requester.
How does someone apply?
Download the appropriate U-Visa or T Visa law enforcement certification form:
U-Visa (USCIS Form I-918 Supplement B)
T-Visa (USCIS Form I-914 Supplement B)
Complete Part 1 of the U-Visa or Part B of the T-Visa. Do not complete any other sections of the applications. Incorrectly completed forms may be rejected or may increase response time.
Send the U-Visa or T-Visa law enforcement certification form to:
Sergeant Randy Witt
Lake Zurich Police Department
Attn: VOICES Act
200 Mohawk Trl
Lake Zurich, IL 60047
Applications may also be submitted by email to Sgt. Randy Witt
Do you need more information?
Sergeant Randy Witt has been designated by the Chief of Police to receive, review and respond to requests for completion of the certification form. He can also assist with questions relating to the VOICES Act. You can reach him directly at 847-719-1690 ext. 6118 or by emailing him at Randy.Witt@LakeZurich.org. Mail can also be directly addressed to Sgt. Randy Witt, Lake Zurich Police Department, 200 Mohawk Trl, Lake Zurich, IL 60047.