According to the January 2016 edition of “All Aboard,” the National Labor Relations Board’s in-house newsletter, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has recently granted U status for the first time to victims of unfair labor practices in cases in which the NLRB’s General Counsel served as law enforcement certifier.

The U visa was created by Congress in 2000 to encourage undocumented crime victims to come forward, thereby strengthening the ability of law enforcement to investigate and prosecute crime. Approved applicants may bring derivative family members to the US and may later apply for permanent residence. Approval of a U petition requires a law enforcement agency to formally certify that a victim has helped detect, investigate or prosecute a qualifying crime, including such crimes as assault, domestic violence, perjury, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice. For NLRB’s General Counsel to certify, the crime must also have a nexus to an unfair labor practice case or a representation case that is under NLRB’s jurisdiction.

NLRB certified for 4 individuals in Newark who supported a union election petition. Their employer threatened to report them to immigration officials unless the union withdrew the petition, and also targeted them and other union supporters for intimidation, including threatening to terminate them and evict them from their homes. NLRB certified under the theory that the unlawful attempts to prevent the union election were obstruction of justice and therefore a qualifying crime for U status.

NLRB certified for 18 individuals in Baltimore who were discharged after complaining to authorities that their employer had failed to pay them prevailing wages on a construction project that was under the authority of a municipal government. The employer had repeatedly submitted false statements attesting under penalty of perjury that it had paid the workers prevailing wages. In this case, NLRB certified under the theory that the false attestations were perjury and therefore a qualifying U crime.