Archived from our former blog, The Beacon.
USCIS and Law Enforcement Unite to Fight Human Trafficking
National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. USCIS plays an active role in protecting victims of human trafficking, who are often vulnerable people tricked into modern-day slavery by false promises of jobs.
|More Blue Campaign resources at DHS.gov/bluecampaign|
Traffickers will sometimes use their victims’ immigration status to threaten victims into submission.
But when victims of trafficking and other serious crimes cooperate with law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of these crimes, they can apply to USCIS for lawful immigration status so they don’t have to worry about their ability to remain in the U.S.
Keep on reading to learn about trafficking and what you can do. USCIS also offers training to law enforcement agencies and immigrant support groups on trafficking and immigration benefits.
Visas Protect Victims
USCIS grants T and U nonimmigrant status, more commonly known as T and U visas, to certain victims of human trafficking who help with investigations and prosecutions of these crimes. Applying for these visas is free—there is no cost.
T visas are only for trafficking victims and certain family members. Five thousand T visas are available each year for victims.
U visas are available to victims of trafficking, domestic violence, and other qualifying serious crimes that violate U.S. law. Certain family members of victims are also eligible. Since 2010, USCIS has issued all of the 10,000 U visas available each year. People on the waiting list for U visas can stay in the United States and apply for work authorization.
Besides T and U visas, victims of trafficking can sometimes get temporary legal status called Continued Presence (CP) from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). This status allows victims to remain in the United States so they can act as a witness in an investigation into the trafficking-related crimes committed against them.
Trainings about Human Trafficking
USCIS partners with ICE to provide free training about CP, parole, and T and U visas to law enforcement agencies and public stakeholders such as community-based organizations. Law enforcement officers can also view a video on our website that explains how to complete the required and optional certifications for T and U visa applications.
For more information, write to T_U_VAWATraining@uscis.dhs.gov or visit our Law Enforcement Resources Web page.
What You Can Do
Do you know how to identify when someone might be a victim of human trafficking or modern-day slavery? Learn from the Blue Campaign. DHS launched this campaign in 2010 to fight trafficking through greater public awareness, training, and law enforcement resources.
- Call 1-866-347-2423 (toll free)
- Call 1-802-872-6199 (non-toll free from outside the U.S.)
- Report online at www.ice.gov/tips
If you believe someone is in immediate danger, please call 9-1-1.