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OSHA says its new authority to issue nonimmigrant status visas will aid investigations

Photo: Darwel/iStockphoto

Washington — OSHA will soon be able to issue certifications in support of T and U nonimmigrant status visas, a move the agency contends will aid in some workplace safety investigations. 

“T visas” are for victims of human trafficking. “U visas” are for victims of certain crimes, including felonious assault, extortion, forced labor and obstruction of justice. These visas “provide immigration status to noncitizen victims and allow them to remain in the United States to assist authorities in combating human trafficking and other crimes,” OSHA says in a Feb. 13 press release.

The agency’s new authority is scheduled to go into effect March 30.

“Workers in the United States need to feel empowered and able to trust OSHA and the U.S. Department of Labor enough to voice their concerns about workplace safety regardless of their immigration status and fears of retaliation,” OSHA administrator Doug Parker said in the release. “By enabling OSHA to issue U and T visa certifications, we will be empowering some of our economy’s most vulnerable workers to tell us if their jobs are jeopardizing their safety and health, and that of their co-workers, and to support our enforcement efforts.”

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