January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Statistics show that millions of people are victims of trafficking worldwide, many of them females and minors. The topic of human trafficking has been in the news lately, with more emphasis placed on awareness of this crime. Also referred to as “trafficking in persons,” it is akin to modern-day slavery since traffickers entice individuals with fake promises of work and a better life. Immigrants, in particular, can be vulnerable to traffickers because they do not have citizenship status, do not speak English, are unfamiliar with the U.S. legal system, have a lower educational level, and lack employment options. However, the United States government provides certain options regarding immigration for victims of human trafficking, which can also include sex trade and forced labor.
The practice of using children or adults against their will and smuggling them into other countries is illegal. Sex trafficking is one of the most common types of human trafficking. Many victims do not report the crime to authorities out of fear of being deported. They may also be afraid their abusers will retaliate, inflicting more pain and suffering on them. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can help protect victims of human trafficking and other crimes through different immigration programs. Through the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act and the Battered Immigrant Women’s Protection Act, specific immigration visas are available on a yearly basis.
T Visa: T nonimmigrant visa status allows victims to stay in the United States if they agree to help law enforcement with investigating or prosecuting their human trafficking case. Depending on the circumstances, immediate family members may also be allowed to remain in the country during the proceedings.
U Visa: Congress created the U nonimmigrant visa in 2000. This legislation was meant to better serve victims and law enforcement agencies in cases of domestic abuse, sexual assault, trafficking of aliens, and other crimes. U nonimmigrant status grants immigration relief to victims who have suffered significant psychological or physical abuse because of the crime. The U visa allows victims to remain in the United States and aid police in the investigation or conviction of the crime.
Unfortunately, criminal activity occurs all over the world. The U.S. immigration system offers relief to victims of certain crimes, including human trafficking. If you or your loved one has suffered due to criminal acts by another party, you are entitled to skilled legal representation. A qualified and dedicated Illinois immigration attorney from the Mevorah Law Offices, P.C. will answer any questions or concerns you might have regarding the U.S. immigration process and your eligibility for visas. Call our office today at 630-932-9100 to schedule a free consultation.
Whether you are going through a divorce, injured in an accident, need to file a workers' compensation claim, charged with a crime, immigrating to the United States, or need to file for bankruptcy, Mevorah Law Offices LLC can help. Our trial lawyers have over 40 years of experience helping clients throughout Northern Illinois from five offices in Lombard, Bloomindale, Naperville, St. Charles, and Chicago.
Steven Mevorah has assembled experienced attorneys under one roof so that his clients need not search for a new attorney each time they need help. Mr. Mevorah has also established a wide network of additional attorneys so that his clients merely need to stop by Mevorah Law Offices LLC to find the attorney they need.
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