Temporary Workers and Z Visas
The White House
MYTH: The bill allows dangerous gang members access to the Z visa program if they renounce their gang affiliation.
FACT: Any gang member convicted of any of a wide range of criminal conduct is not permitted in the Z visa program, whether he or she has renounced his gang affiliation or not. The range of crimes that disqualify applicants from the Z visa program extends into the thousands and includes:
Any three or more misdemeanors
Any serious criminal offense
Crimes involving moral turpitude (with narrow exceptions for certain misdemeanors such as those committed before age 18 )
Violations of a law relating to a controlled substance
FACT: Even if a gang member or other applicant has not been convicted of a crime, he or she is ineligible for the Z visa program if the Government concludes that he is sufficiently dangerous. This is true for all applicants, including gang members who have renounced their affiliations. For example, among those ineligible is any gang member (or other applicant):
About whom there are "reasonable grounds" for regarding as a danger to the security of the United States;
Who the Government knows or has reason to believe seeks to enter the U.S. "solely, principally, or incidentally" to engage in unlawful activity; or
About whom there are reasonable grounds for believing has committed a serious criminal offense outside the U.S.
FACT: The bill would, for the first time, give the Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Justice (DOJ) tools to keep certain aliens out of the United States solely on the basis of their participation in a gang. No conviction is required – if an individual has associated with a gang and helped "aid" or "support" its illegal activity, then he or she is not allowed to remain in the country – even if he renounces his gang affiliation.