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630-932-9100
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Mevorah Law Offices LLC
630-932-9100
DuPage County Attorneys

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Phone: 630-932-9100

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Phone: 630-529-4761

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Phone: 630-443-0600

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Human Trafficking: Its Costs and Victims

Posted on in Immigration
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human trafficking, Chicago immigration attorneysWhile most people are unaware of the extent and scope of human trafficking, the sad fact is that it persists to an unacceptable degree and in countries most people believe are free from crime of this nature. And very often, its victims are victimized long after they are released from whatever situation prompted their unwilling flight.

Trafficking Defined

Human trafficking is defined as a form of slavery in which people “profit from the exploitation and control of others.” Most people think of sexual slavery, but trafficking victims are made to labor in many industries against their will. Some people conflate trafficking with people smuggling, but smuggling people is consensual, while human trafficking is not. Trafficking victims are essentially objects to the trafficker, devoid of autonomy.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that approximately 21 million people are victims of human trafficking each year, and over half of whom are female. Most of them come from poor, urban areas in Asia and Eastern Europe, such as Cambodia and Poland. The United States is a destination and transit country for victims, meaning that they are brought here to be exploited.

U.S. law puts trafficking victims into three categories: (1) children under 18 coerced into the sex industry, (2) adults induced into the sex industry by fraud or coercion, and (3) children and adults induced to provide other labor services by fraud or coercion. While there is no distinction between these categories in terms of immigration, it does influence how and when victims may be entitled to compensation.

T Visas: Escape

There is help for victims of trafficking, however, if they know where to look. The United States passed the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act in 2000, which created the T and U visas. T visas are designed to help human trafficking victims remain in the United States to assist law enforcement in the apprehension of traffickers. While a T visa is not an immigrant visa, it is enough, in many instances, to allow a victim to extricate themselves from their controller, and get his or her life back on track.

An individual is eligible for a T visa if he or she:

    • Is a victim of trafficking;

    • Is in the U.S., or a U.S. possession (Guam, Mariana Islands, etc.) due to trafficking;

    • Complies with reasonable requests from law enforcement regarding prosecution or information about his or her trafficking (there are exceptions if you are a minor or if you have suffered psychological trauma);

    • Demonstrates that he or she would suffer extreme hardship if removed from the United States; and

    • Is otherwise admissible to the United States.



Certain family members may also apply for what are called derivative visas, but the categories are limited. If you are a minor, your parents, unmarried minor siblings, spouse, and children may apply for T-2 (derivative) visas. If you are an adult, your spouse and children may apply, but not your parents or siblings.

Seek Professional Assistance

As with any visa application, a T visa may be easier to obtain if you have professional help with you. The Chicago immigration attorneys at Mevorah Law Offices LLC have years of experience with immigration and asylum law, and we know how to ask the tough questions to get the answers you need. Contact our office today to discuss your options; we will do our best to help.

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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 35 years of experience helping clients throughout Northern Illinois from five offices in Lombard, Bloomindale, Joliet, 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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