Trafficking of Undocumented Immigrants
Helping Victims in El Paso Pursue Relief
Every year, many undocumented immigrants are trafficked into the U.S. and exploited. Often, those who are able to escape their conditions face challenges in getting the care and services they need, likely because they fear deportation to a country where their safety is once again at risk. The federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) offers various legal protections and avenues victims can pursue. However, understanding the processes involved in obtaining the benefits can be challenging. This is especially true when the person seeking the protections has spent a large part of their time in captivity. If you or someone you know is an undocumented immigrant who was a victim of trafficking, obtain the services of a lawyer who can help protect your basic human rights.
At Law Offices of Ruben Ortiz, our El Paso attorney has the knowledge and skills needed to assist undocumented immigrants who were victims of trafficking. We have over 2 decades of experience and a passion for helping those in need of superior legal services. When you turn to us, we will help you understand the federal laws protecting trafficking victims, the benefits you may be entitled to, and avenues you can explore for obtaining temporary lawful status or lawful permanent residency.
To get started, call us at (915) 308-8850 today.
Who Is Considered a Victim of Trafficking?
For a person to be eligible for the protections and benefits offered under the TVPA, they must be considered a victim of human trafficking.
Human trafficking involves:
- Transporting a person from one place to another (whether or not they cross borders or other boundary lines)
- By use of fraud, force, or coercion (such as promising a good job or better life)
- To subject them to sexual or labor exploitation
Under federal law, an undocumented immigrant who is considered a trafficking victim may be entitled to various services, such as housing, food, and medical care.
Petitioning for Immigration Relief
In addition to obtaining benefits under the TVPA, human trafficking victims may also be able to apply for certain forms of documentation to allow them to stay in the country temporarily or permanently.
A few avenues undocumented immigrants can pursue include:
- Continued presence: If granted, this would allow the victim of severe trafficking to stay in the country for up to 1 year while the person who trafficked them is being investigated and prosecuted. A law enforcement official will apply for this on behalf of the victim.
- T Non-immigrant status: Also referred to as a T Visa, this form of relief is granted to victims of severe trafficking who are present in the U.S. They must be 18 years of age or older and be at risk of "extreme hardship" if they were returned to their home country. A T Visa is valid for up to 4 years but can be extended.
- U Non-Immigrant Status: A U Visa may be granted to human trafficking victims who suffered "severe physical or mental abuse" and may have information that would help an investigation regarding the criminal activity related to the trafficking. This visa is valid for 4 years and may be extended. The holder may also apply for lawful permanent residency after 3 consecutive years in this status.
- Violence Against Women Act: VAWA allows spouses, children, and parents of abusive U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents to self-petition for residency without the help of their relative. To be eligible, the petitioner must have been subject to "extreme cruelty."
Contact the Law Offices of Ruben Ortiz for Legal Assistance
Our El Paso lawyer provides compassionate guidance to undocumented immigrants who were victims of human trafficking. We're ready to help you.
Exceptional Track Record of Success
Strong & Trusted Advocate for His Clients
Fighting for His Clients Since 1998
Tens of Thousands of Individuals Represented Before State & Federal Courts
Winner of “The Best Lawyer to Get You Out of Trouble” by El Paso’s What’s Up Entertainment Weekly from 2007-2012
Awarded Top Lawyer for 2016 & 2017 from The Global Directory of Who's Who