37-32 75TH STREET


(718) 803-6373


Contact: Josey Bartlett, (718) 803-6373 x 202, cell: (503) 515-4550, Jbartlett@council.nyc.gov



Council Member Daniel Dromm, right, worked with attorney Daniel Worontzoff, not pictured, the Mayor’s Office and the new police commissioner to help Li Ping, center, obtain a U visa. 

Council Member Daniel Dromm  (D-Jackson Heights, Elmhurst), attorney Daniel Worontzoff and Carrey Wong with the New York Asian Women’s Center (NYAWC), the largest Asian American focused domestic violence agency in the country, spoke out  on Monday to call attention to issues immigrants face when applying for U-visas.  Joining them was Elmhurst resident Li Ping who is now on the path to citizenship with a U-visa because of her cooperation with law enforcement in the investigation of a violent crime committed against her and because of the intervention of Council Member Daniel Dromm.

In October of 2000, Congress created the U-visa with the passage of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act. The U-visa grants immigrants who are victims of serious crimes up to four years of temporary working status that can lead to a green card and eventually citizenship.

“Li Ping had a very difficult time applying for a U-visa,” said Council Member Daniel Dromm. “Ms. Li was the victim of a violent crime not far from where we stand today.  The NYPD initially gave her a hard time when she asked for certification of the crime.  Then, when they finally gave her the certification, it had the wrong birthdate on it.  It took a lot of haggling with the NYPD before we were finally able to get Ms. Li her U-visa certification. The NYPD should not be putting obstacles in people’s way of getting a U-Visa.”

In 1997, two men assaulted Ms. Li in Elmhurst and slit her throat. Throughout the investigation, Ms. Li cooperated with the NYPD in an effort to catch her attackers.However, the required form certifying Ms. Li’s cooperation with the police incorrectly noted her birthdate.  That prohibited her from obtaining a U-visa. CM Dromm intervened by asking the new police commissioner and the Mayor’s office to correct the form which the NYPD had refused to previously do. After much back and forth, Ms. Li was granted her U-visa earlier this year.

“On behalf of Li Ping and the immigrant community, in general, I would like to thank Councilman Dromm for his assistance with Ms. Li’s U-visa application,” said attorney Daniel Worontzoff who represented Ms. Li. “U-visas encourage victims of serious crimes, who have immigration issues, to come forward and assist with the investigation and prosecution of those crimes. Without the protection that a U visa can offer, undocumented immigrants would be easy targets for predatory criminals. With the dedication of individuals in law enforcement and government, like Council Member Dromm, the U visa program can operate effectively. My thanks to them.”

“I am very pleased to be here today,” said Li Ping. “I came to the United States in 1996 and never obtained legal immigration status. I am very thankful that The Worontzoff Law Office located in Flushing and Councilman Daniel Dromm helped me successfully getting my U-Visa.”

“All of the women NYAWC serve are the victims of crimes,” said Carrey Wong, NYAWC staff attorney. “Over 25% are undocumented or their status is unknown. The U-visa is a special form of immigration relief that enables undocumented victims of crime to come forward, report the crime, and seek help without fear of deportation. The U-visa is a powerful option for undocumented survivors. It helps reclaim power from their abusers – many of who dangled the survivor’s immigration status in front of them as an ongoing threat. The U-visa also empowers the survivor to be a part of the solution by taking perpetrators of domestic violence and sexual assault off the streets, preventing them from harming others.”



Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.