Asian immigrant wins U-Visa as crime victim

Li Ping joins Councilman Daniel Dromm to share her experience as and immigrant victim of violent crime. Photo by Bill Parry
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Li Ping traveled to Jackson Heights from her home in Flushing to be the face of City Councilman Daniel Dromm’s (D-Jackson Heights) new campaign to raise awareness about the merits of U-Visas for immigrant victims of violent crime.

After the 66-year-old emigre from China was brutally attacked in 1997 and had her throat slashed, she had a difficult time securing her U-Visa until Dromm intervened.

In October 2000, Congress created the U-Visa with the passage of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act. The 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.

“Ms. Li was the victim of a violent crime not far from where we stand today,” Dromm said outside his office on Monday, at 37-32 75th St. “The NYPD initially gave her a hard time when she asked for certification of the crime. When they finally gave her the certification, it had the wrong birth date on it.”

Dromm said he got no cooperation from the Bloomberg administration, particularly Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

“The NYPD should not be putting obstacles in people’s way of getting a U-Visa,” Dromm said.

In 1997, two men assaulted Li in Elmhurst and slit her throat. Throughout the investigation she cooperated with the NYPD in an effort to catch her attackers, who were never apprehended, but her efforts went unrewarded until the de Blasio administration took over in January.

She was finally granted her U-Visa earlier this year and is finally on the path to permanent citizenship, a process that will probably take four more years.

“This happens often and it’s time for a change,” Dromm said. “I admire her for her bravery and courage. She was willing to do this press conference so other immigrants become aware that if they are the victims of violent crimes, they should cooperate with police investigations instead of fearing deportation.”

Li Ping’s attorney, Daniel Worontzoff, said, “Without the protection that a U-Visa offers, undocumented immigrants would be easy targets for predatory criminals. With the dedication of individuals in law enforcement and government, like Councilman Dromm, the U-Visa program can operate effectively.”

Carrey Wong, an attorney with the New York Asian Women’s Center who helped with Li Ping’s case, said, “The U-Visa is a powerful option for undocumented survivors. It helps reclaim power from their abusers, many of whom 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.”

Wong’s New York Asian Women’s Center is based in Elmhurst but never gives out its address so perpetrators cannot track down their victims, according to Dromm.

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4538.

Updated 1:56 am, April 5, 2014
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Reader feedback

anon from Queens says:
So now all of us citizens have to suffer because someone else abused them? If I get my throat slashed as a us citizen, the only thing I get is an "Oh I'm sorry that happened to you" and maybe the nypd will actually try to find the person who did that to me. But yet they get rewarded for being a victim of a crime? Where are my rewards as a citizen? I don't get rewarded if my throat gets slashed. I'm sorry that happened to her, but Hey that's life! I don't think people should be rewarded for being the victim of a crime (unless of course I can Sue someone for it). Hate to say it but it's a dog eat dog world and you need to defend yourself sometimes and be aware of your surroundings. Let's see How much this visa will be abused now....just like eb5 visas (Where you can buy 500000 in property and get an automatic greencard )
April 3, 2014, 5:18 am
Sally from Queens says:
Anon what ae you talking about you cant buy a green with $500k that is not what EB-5 is! Get your facts first! Also this poor lady was a victim of crime that she went to the ER for. Bc of Ms.Li Ping the NYPD can get these dogs off the streets. Victim of a crime should always call 911 and report the crime. We need more people like her. See something say something!!!
April 3, 2014, 8:44 am
Betty from Bayside says:
Immigrants are mostly hard working individuals. If you want to say that U.S. Citizens are suffering because of immigrants being victims of crime, think about your tax dollars going to these criminals in prison? their not working and their eating and living off your tax dollars compare to these hard working immigrants.
April 3, 2014, 8:53 am
Ron from Sunnyside says:
Daniel Dromm and her lawyer did a great job for Li Ping.
April 3, 2014, 9:01 am
antibetty from queens says:
Betty, how many immigrants do you know. how do you know they are hard working as opposed to living off the fat of American with as much free stuff as possible. Please cite your sources.
April 3, 2014, 10:57 am
Chen from Flushing says:
Antibetty Immigration law is needed in the USA bc of people like you. I think you are the one that has WIC, Food stamps, and living off the gov't. People like Li Ping are helping out the world. You think you dont pay tax and show you have high income the USCIS you can get a green card or and U-Visa???!!!!
April 3, 2014, 12:53 pm
anitbetty from queens says:
chen are you mentally ill

try medication
April 3, 2014, 1:34 pm
vivian from woodside says:
anitbetty not nice to speak to someone like that so rude.
April 3, 2014, 2:13 pm
Wang from Flushing says:
Great job Dromm and her lawyers office. Victims of crimes are happening all over NYC we need people like Ms. Li.
April 4, 2014, 12:07 pm
Betty from Bayside says:
ANTIBETTY: I'm pretty sure that your ancestors and family were immigrants once, so don't hate on immigrants. What about the billions of dollars sent to other countries for reliefs? Those are your tax dollars too. As you said "Hey that's life! "
April 4, 2014, 12:30 pm
patrick from queens says:
Whats Li Ping's lawyers address and phone number I want to apply for my green card? thanks
April 4, 2014, 3:47 pm
anon from queens says:

Here you go my proof to those who doubt that USA citizenship is for sale!
April 4, 2014, 3:59 pm
anon from queens says:
Educate yourselves! I wonder what I get if I get my throat slashed in China? Would I get a visa? I don't think so!
April 4, 2014, 4:02 pm
anon from Immigration worker says:
Without the protection of the U visa, many very serious crimes woud go unreported, uninvestigated and not prosecuted. There is bound to be some abuse in any program, be it for immigrants, middle class Americans (who cheat on their taxes), etc. Systems are set up to help. The majority of ALL people are good people. You will always find some "bad apples". And you can find hateful, selfish people in all walks of life as well. Don't punish the good people because some ——s or idiots take advantage of things. RIse above; pay it forward. Make the workd a better place.
April 7, 2014, 12:11 pm
The Worontzoff Law Office, PLLC from Flushing NY says:
The Worontzoff Law Office, PLLC
37-08 Main Street Suite 305
Flushing NY 11354
Oct. 9, 2014, 8:06 am

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