Human Traffic Watch

US offers ‘T’ visa for victims of human trafficking

In Forced Labor, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on January 30, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Pablo arrived in the United States using an H2B visa. Having paid his recruiter a substantial amount of money, he was told that he would be employed by a hotel in Nevada. Upon his arrival, he found out that there was no work for him in a hotel. Instead, he was forced against his will to work in various households as a housekeeper for minimal pay. His recruiter kept his passport with the visa that eventually expired.

After one year without legal status, Pablo left his housekeeping job without his recruiter’s knowledge. He found a job as a live-in caregiver and worked 24/7 without leave. This time he was paid a reasonable salary for his services.

Since he is undocumented, Pablo would like to legalize his stay by applying for a working visa. Obtaining a visa as a caregiver could take several years. Being in unlawful status, it may also be impossible to get a nonimmigrant working visa. Pablo has heard about the case of a Filipino woman getting something called a “T” visa, which is given to victims of human trafficking. He wants to apply for the same visa.

Pablo was told that he fits the profile of a trafficking victim. But when he was informed that part of the requirement is that he assists law enforcement agencies in prosecuting his recruiter and employer, he had second thoughts about filing for the T visa. According to Pablo, he could not in conscience assist in persecuting the person who helped him enter the United States. He said that despite paying the recruiter money, he still feels that he owes this person a debt of gratitude.

Source: Global Nation

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