In the United States, human trafficking affects U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents as well as foreign nationals who have no legal status. The U.S. State Department estimates that nearly one million individuals are trafficked across international borders annually and that 18,000 to 20,000 are brought into the United States. (National Immigrant Justice Center, 2011-2013). Trafficking victims are typically illegally transported into the United States. They are forced into prostitution and involuntary labor to repay debts – often entry in the U.S. (U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2014). Because many foreign-born victims do not have legal status in the U.S., traffickers are provided with the ability to control trafficking victims in these manners. Immigration relief can provide a way for victims to feel secure and stabilize their status in the U.S. without legal status, victims may not be able to stay in the U.S., or they may be limited in their access to victim assistance services. Immigration relief can help stabilize a victim without legal status (U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2014).
Trafficking victims require both short-term and long-term services and supports, which can include everything from victim advocacy, mental and dental health care, food, shelter and housing, legal services, education and job training, immigration services and legal assistance.
The following resources include reports on domestic and immigration remedies for trafficked persons, including temporary immigration status under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and the T Visa. These remedies and processes can be complex, so resources that break down the information are also included.
Directory of Crime Victim Services, Office for Victims of Crime
The OVC website offers an online directory that helps service providers and individuals locate crime victim services from local, national and international agencies. Victim services are searchable by location, type of victimization, or service needed. Links to service organizations, hotline numbers for national victim serving organizations, and referral agencies are provided.
The Blue Campaign is the “voice” of the Department of Home Security (DHS) efforts to combat human trafficking. DHS identifies and stabilizes victims of trafficking-providing immigration relief while investigating and prosecuting traffickers.
Blue Campaign Components:
Child Welfare Information Gateway, Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families (ACF), HHS
The Gateway provides access to resources and services such as national hotlines and state child abuse reporting numbers, federal child services clearinghouses; organizations dealing with child protection/abuse, family and domestic violence, foster care, health, mental health, substance abuse, and state child welfare agencies.
Unaccompanied Children’s Services: Key Documents for Unaccompanied Children’s Services Program
This webpage provides access to a number of documents to assist unaccompanied children arriving in the United States, including a Pro Bono Referral Resource Guide as well as various consent forms.
The Tahirih Justice Center provides national legal services to women and children fleeing human rights abuses. The Center also leads national advocacy campaigns for changes in laws and policies to protect women and girls from violence.