Because January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, we are sharing five things we feel are important to know about how human trafficking intersects with immigration.
- Individuals who recently migrated or relocated are most at risk or vulnerable to both sex trafficking and labor trafficking. One of the top methods traffickers used to keep victims in their situations is threatening to report them to immigration.
- Human trafficking is increasing in the U.S. supply chain. During the pandemic, a 70% increase in the number of likely victims of labor trafficking among migrant farm workers was reported.
- During the lock downs, online recruitment of trafficking victims increased 22%. Facebook and Instagram were the primary sites used for recruitment.
- Nearly one third of all trafficking victims reported being recruited by family members, partners, or caregivers. On the other hand, friends and family who know the victim are also the most likely to be the way the victim is connected to help.
- Immigrants who experience human trafficking may be eligible for immigration relief, including Continued Presence, T Nonimmigrant Status (known as the T visa), and U Nonimmigrant Status (known as the U visa).
- Continued presence allows victims to remain in the United States temporarily during the ongoing human trafficking investigation and prosecution.
- T Visas provide immigration relief to victims of severe forms of trafficking who assist law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of human trafficking cases.
- U Visas provide immigration relief to victims of certain qualifying crimes who assist law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime.
We know these statistics seem bleak, but we have lots of great resources available locally! Below are some local and national organizations who support survivors of human trafficking that you can reach out to for help or to learn more:
Please note: This is an overview of immigration options and is not meant to be legal advice. For information on your specific situation, we recommend you use our contact form to schedule an appointment with our office. We would be glad to help you determine the best option for you.