Monday, May 16, 2011

Immigration Attorneys Representing Trafficked Persons

Catholic Charities San Antonio Wins Protection for Victim of Human Trafficking

Newsletter – LegalFront – State Bar of Texas Newsletter (March 25, 2011)

Last month, after two years of legal struggle, Catholic Charities attorney Linda Brandmiller finally won protection for her client as a victim of human trafficking. “For two years, this case has highlighted the failures in the T-visa system. Now, I use this case as a powerful example of how a victim can overcome all of the governmental hurdles if people are willing to fight hard enough,” Brandmiller said. One of those governmental hurdles was an initial denial of the client’s trafficking victim certification: Although the captors had sexually abused the client and smuggled her in a locked trunk, authorities denied her certification because she had previously wanted to come to the US. The denial due to ‘consent’ infuriated Brandmiller. “That is like telling a woman suffering domestic violence that she is not a victim because she ‘wanted’ to get married!” she said. Brandmiller hopes her client’s case will help improve protections for human trafficking victims. “There is a huge disconnect between the intent of the T-visa program and its implementation: To combat a billion dollar trafficking industry, the US granted only 1,200 T-visas in the past ten years.”

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