OAKLAND (AP) — The Oakland Police Department is encouraging immigrants who were victims of crime to reapply for a temporary visa certification because it may have wrongly denied as many as 25 of the applications.

The department says in a statement Thursday that the Alameda County public defender had brought to its attention two cases of U-Visa certification applications that were improperly denied.

The U-Visa allows victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse to apply and obtain a temporary visa that allows them to stay in the country. Applicants are first certified by the law enforcement agency where the crime occurred and the federal government gives final approval.

The department says an audit found at least 25 of 144 applications submitted in 2017 may have been improperly denied.

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