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Immigrants and Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery, and it exists in Texas. Unlike smuggling where people illegally bring immigrants into the United States, human trafficking is an exploitation crime.

While anyone can be a victim of human trafficking, immigrants are frequently targeted because they don’t speak good English and because they often lack a financial or social safety net, making them more vulnerable.

Texas is no stranger to human trafficking, and in recent years the state has led the battle against human traffickers. However, officials have had difficulty getting the immigrant communities to report the crime.

Human Trafficking: Third Most Profitable Crime

According to the United Nations, human trafficking is the third most profitable crime in the world, only after drug and arms trafficking. In Texas, legislatures have passed laws and created special task forces to put traffickers behind bars where they belong.

The modern-day slavery, which forces victims to engage in prostitution, hard labor, domestic servitude and to work on farms, is grossly under-reported by the immigrant communities. Why?

Law enforcement says it’s because many of them fear that they will be deported. Often, victims are afraid that if they report the crime, they’re captors will retaliate against them, or they fear that they will not be able to obtain legal status in the United States, so they are not motivated to report the crime.

Are trafficking victims deported?

What many immigrants do not realize is that since 2000, the immigration rules have been relaxed for the victims of human trafficking. For more than a decade, the U.S. government has offered non-immigrant status to human trafficking victims, known as “T” visas.

If you, or someone you know is a human trafficking victim, please know that Plano and Dallas police officers focus on going after the offenders, not on enforcing immigration law against the victims.

The officers assigned to these cases hope that more immigrants will report crimes related to human trafficking. They don’t care about the victim’s immigration status; if they are being exploited, they want people to report the crime so lives can be saved and they can go after the traffickers.

Need a Plano immigration attorney? Call The Zendeh Del Law Firm today!