VOICES Act - City of Galena


The Voices of Immigrant Communities Empowering Act, also known as the VOICES Act, was effective January 1, 2019 after the passing of Public ACT 100-1115. The VOICES Act allows "victims of qualifying criminal activity" to request a law enforcement certification form required by federal immigration law certifying that a person is a victim of qualifying criminal activity for use in applying for a U or T-Visa under the United States Code.

Who is eligible to participate?

Those individuals who are identified as "victims of qualifying criminal activity" as defined in the act whom were involved in an incident investigated by the City of Galena 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?

Step 1

Download the appropriate U or T-Visa law enforcement certification form.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

Complete the questionnaire.  Although this questionnaire is not required it will assist the City of Galena Police Department in locating any case reports and supporting documentation for a law enforcement certification application response.

Step 4

Send the U or T-Visa law enforcement certification form and questionnaire to:

Eric Hefel, Chief of Police
Attn: VOICES Act
311 N. Bench Street
Galena, IL  61036

Applications can also be emailed to Chief Eric Hefel at:


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 website.

Who do I contact at the Galena Police Department for more information?

Chief Eric Hefel is the official designated by the police department to receive, review, and respond to requests for completion of the certification form. He can also assist with questions relating to the VOICES Act. Chief Hefel can be reached directly by email at ehefel@cityofgalena.org.  Mail can be directly addressed to Chief Eric Hefel and sent to 311 N. Bench Street, Galena, IL  61028.

The City of Galena
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Galena, Il 61036
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The City of Galena is located in the unglaciated area of Northwest Illinois. Our rolling hills, history, 19th century architecture and opportunities for year round outdoor recreation attract nearly a million visitors a year. Galena is a safe, healthy and vibrant place to raise a family, start a business or enjoy retirement. Click here for a short video about Galena’s unique lifestyle.
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