What is the VOICES ACT?
The Voices of Immigrant Communities Empowering Act, also known as the VOICES Act, was effective Jan. 1, 2019 after the passing of Public ACT 100-1115. 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 T or U Visa under the United States Code.
The full act can be found on the Illinois General Assembly's website.
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 Wheaton 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 does someone apply?
Download the appropriate U or T Visa law enforcement certification form:
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.
Complete the attached questionnaire (PDF). Although this questionnaire is not required, it will assist the Wheaton Police Department in locating any case reports and supporting documentation for a law enforcement certification application response.
Send the U or T Visa law enforcement certification form and questionnaire to:
Deputy Chief P.J. Youker
Wheaton Police Department
Attn: VOICES Act
900 West Liberty Drive
Wheaton, Illinois 60187
Applications can also be emailed to Chief Youker at Pyouker@wheaton.il.us
How long does it take to get a law enforcement certification response?
Response times vary and can take up to 90 business days from the time of the request. The VOICES Act has additional response time provisions, which can be found on the Illinois General Assembly's website.
Whom do I contact at the Wheaton Police Department for more information?
Deputy Chief P.J. Youker is the official 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 Deputy Chief Youker directly at 630-260-2081 or by email at Pyouker@wheaton.il.us. Mail can be directly addressed to him at 900 West Liberty Drive Wheaton, Illinois 60187.