Victims of human trafficking may not be aware that they may be eligible for a T Visa.
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) defines a â€œsevere form of trafficking in personsâ€ as follows:
(A) Sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; or
(B) The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery. Trafficking Victims Protection Act Â§103(8), 22 USC Â§7102(8).
Coercion encompasses more than physical force or the threat of such force. Under the TVPA, coercion now includes psychological coercion that lead victims to believe that serious harm will result to them or to others if they leave their jobs. See Trafficking Victims Protection Act Â§102(b)(13), 22 USC Â§7101(b)(13). Many successful T visa cases solely involve psychological coercion.
Are you a victim of Human Trafficking?
Have you lived at your place of employment, or lived in housing closely monitored by your employer? USCIS has granted T visas to applicants whose employers have locked them in at night at factories and restaurants or whose houses or apartments were closely watched by the employerâ€™s associates to prevent escapes. If you have worked as a live-in nanny or housekeeper, were you allowed to leave your employerâ€™s home unaccompanied?
Did your employer take your passport? Some traffickers hold their victimsâ€™ passports as a way of preventing them from leaving a job.
Did you pay a large recruitment fee in your home country for a job in the United States that does not provide the promised pay or work conditions? Sometimes immigrants go into deep debt and mortgage family property to pay a recruiter for a job that pays far less than what was promised. The traffickers then warn their victims that if they leave their jobs they will be financially and socially ruined without the means to pay off the debt in their home country.
Did your employer tell you that if you left the employerâ€™s job or housing, you would probably be arrested, jailed, and deported?
Did your employer make large deductions from your paycheck for items such as housing, meals, and smuggling fees?
Did you come to the United States as a child to live with relatives or family friends, but never enrolled in school? It is possible that you were forced to work as a babysitter or housekeeper in spite of promises to your parents that you would go to school in the United States. A child in such circumstances is also vulnerable to physical or sexual abuse.
Have you reported the abuse to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), or the U.S. Department of Justice? Even if you have not reported it, Hart Immigration can proceed with the application.
Hart Immigration provides immigration services in Los Angeles, Orange County, and surrounding areas.