As victims without legal status may otherwise be reluctant to help in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity, Congress created three immigration options that are available to human trafficking victims – Continued Presence, T visas, and U visas. These immigration options help the victims and are law enforcement tools that encourage victims to report crimes and cooperate with law enforcement for investigations and prosecutions.
Blue Campaign recently updated its Continued Presence pamphlet and Immigration Options for Victims of Human Trafficking fact sheet for law enforcement. These resources are available in multiple languages – English, Spanish, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Korean, and Thai.
The Continued Presence pamphlet explains the temporary immigration designation provided to individuals identified by law enforcement as victims of a “severe form of trafficking in persons” who may be potential witnesses. Continued Presence allows trafficking victims to lawfully remain in the U.S. temporarily and work during the investigation into the human trafficking-related crimes committed against them. The pamphlet includes information on how law enforcement can request Continued Presence, who authorizes it, useful facts, and eligibility requirements.
While Continued Presence is a law enforcement-initiated request, T and U visas are longer-term immigration benefits that victims apply for. The two-page Immigration Options for Victims of Human Trafficking fact sheet informs law enforcement on the application process and answers frequently asked questions.