Local News


Sheriff helping undocumented immigrants apply for 1 Oct. survivor visas

Posted at 7:53 AM, Jul 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-02 14:12:09-04

It has been nine months since one of the city's darkest days, and since then we have heard countless stories of survival and tragedy.

Now we are hearing the stories of undocumented workers who witnessed the horrific 1 October shooting and are attempting to cope with life after the tragedy.

There are more than 70 undocumented immigrants across the Las Vegas valley who claim they were working the Route 91 Harvest Festival when a gunman opened fire.

"You could hear how the bullets were hitting and hitting the beer container," said survivor Efren Campirano, who says he hid in a beer cooler as shots were fired.

Campirano was working as a bartender at the festival. During the shooting, he remembers only being able to think about one thing.

"I was thinking about my family, I have a great family," Campirano said.

Campirano moved to the United States from Mexico City. He is married, and the couple has an 8-year-old son.

He is one of a group of survivors who may now be eligible for a U visa, a visa only granted to about 10,000 immigrant a year who are victims of crimes.

"Those are not a slam dunk case, I hate to say it," said attorney Hardeep "Dee" Sull.

To be granted a U visa, people must have approval from local police or a judge before then getting approval from the federal government. They also have to prove they suffered substantial mental or physical abuse and are willing to assist law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity.

Recently, the group of survivors met with Sheriff Joe Lombardo to tell their stories. The Sheriff told the group he would be adding more resources to the U visa program to help approve clean up a backlog of u-visas.

"The idea is that it [U visa] is supposed to prevent crime and to encourage victims to come forward," Sull said. "But this is not a free pass."

Campirano has undergone therapy for what he went through on 1 October. He said while he is grateful for the opportunity to be eligible for a visa, he is focusing on his mental health.

"This was the largest mass shooting in America let's remind ourselves of that, and there's no reward in this," Sull said.

It can take anywhere from a year to three years for U visas to be approved.