Trafficking in persons, also known as human trafficking, is a form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers entice victims with false promises of employment and better lives. Traffickers frequently take advantage of vulnerable individuals, including those without legal immigration status. U.S. immigration law provides relief to victims of severe forms of human trafficking through the nonimmigrant visa for Victims of Trafficking in Persons (T). Victims of human trafficking can remain in the United States to assist in investigations or prosecutions of human trafficking violators. T visas offer protection to victims and strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to detect, investigate and prosecute human trafficking. In some cases, nonimmigrants can adjust their status and become lawful permanent residents (obtain a Green Card).
Under federal law, a “severe form of trafficking in persons” is:
- Sex Trafficking: It occurs when someone recruits, harbors, transports, provides, solicits, patronizes, or obtains an individual for the purpose of engaging in a commercial sex act, where such acts are induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or where the individual is under 18 years of age; or
- Labor Trafficking: It is involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery is defined as the act of recruiting, harboring, transporting, or providing a person for labor or services through force, fraud, or coercion.