Most Americans have never heard of a U-Visa, which allows undocumented immigrants, who are the victims of violent crimes, stay in the U.S. for four years.
About 10,000 U-Visas are issued by the federal government every year. In Charlotte, N.C., there have been more than 700 applications for U-Visas so far this year.
Reuters reports that the U-Visa was originally created in 2000 by Congress to help build trust between police and immigrants, who often don't report crimes for fear of being deported.
However, some of the U-Visa applications are based on crimes that never happened.
According to WSOC, Charlotte police ruled that Oscar Beltran staged a fake robbery in May. Beltran claimed some robbers hit him in the head with a gun and stole $6,000.
Police said that Beltran had an upcoming immigration hearing and created the fake robbery to get a U-Visa.
Adriana Galvez-Taylor, an attorney with the Latin-American Coalition, told WSOC that U-Visas are "not a golden ticket… because it's not easy to get."
Robyn Withrow, as assistant district attorney who screens U-Visa applications in Charlotte, claims that only about 30 percent of U-Visa applicants make it through the process.