What Labor Abuses Qualify As Trafficking?

By Published On: February 25, 2024Categories: Vlog, Immigration

When the term “human trafficking” comes to mind, one might envision individuals abducted from foreign lands. They are then thrust into a life of involuntary servitude or sexual exploitation. However, the scope of this issue stretches far beyond such notions. 

An intriguing revelation emerges: numerous individuals arrive in the United States with aspirations for a brighter future. Yet, their hopes often turn into a nightmarish struggle against deception and maltreatment. Delve into a crucial subject: labor abuses and human trafficking. See how this situation can turn positive, like qualifying you for permanent residency in the United States via a T Visa.

Immigration Attorney Explains The T Visa Process 

What Is Human Trafficking?

This is a phenomenon you may believe will never affect you personally. It occurs to unsuspecting individuals who might not even consider it a possibility. Therefore, raising awareness and informing everyone about the protections available is essential.

Knowing about attempts to exploit people for labor or services through force, threats, or coercion is helpful. This broader understanding of human trafficking encompasses more than just violence and intimidation at gunpoint; it can also manifest through menacing threats and manipulative tactics.

Misconceptions about human trafficking narrow your view of situations involving extreme violence. By being educated about the various faces of human trafficking, you can empower potential victims to recognize the warning signs. Therefore, you can encourage them to seek help when needed. Understanding that it extends beyond overt physical force is vital in combating this pervasive issue. 

Does Labor Abuse Qualify As Trafficking?

Human trafficking extends beyond the conventional understanding that is limited to sexual exploitation, as often portrayed in the media. Rather, it infiltrates workplaces and manpower, known as labor abuse. 

Labor trafficking refers to a form of exploitation where individuals are compelled to work through force, fraud, or coercion. It involves using deception or coercion to force people into services against their will. Victims of this crime may be subjected to poor working conditions, long hours, and inadequate pay. 

Exploiters promise employment and fair compensation to these victims. However, upon arrival, they are trapped, manipulated by fear of immigration consequences or other dire outcomes. It forces them into grueling, all-encompassing workdays, an unmistakable instance of labor exploitation.

Various tactics are employed to exert control over victims, including threats of reporting them to immigration or law enforcement. In some cases, perpetrators go a step further by endangering the victims’ family members. An illustrative instance involves luring individuals with promises of Visas, compelling them to stay in exploitative environments. The threat of losing the promised Visa becomes a coercive tool, effectively trapping victims and leaving them vulnerable.

The reassuring aspect is that if you find yourself a victim of such acts, there are avenues for you to live and work in the United States independently. You don’t have to rely on those who exploit you to achieve your residency goals; a T Visa provides an alternative path.

What Can A T Visa Offer For Victims?

The T Visa serves as an immigration protection aimed at aiding victims of human trafficking. It allows individuals to remain in the United States to access essential services and cooperate with law enforcement. 

This Visa allows a path to permanent residency and citizenship. It also includes other benefits, such as working and accessing social services. In some instances, family members may also be eligible for inclusion under the T Visa application.

Regarding the number of T Visas issued annually, the U.S. Congress has imposed a limit of 5,000 principal applicants yearly. However, throughout the program’s history, this quota has never been reached, and there has never been a waiting list. This implies that the full quota of available T Visas remains unutilized, allowing more victims to seek protection and assistance.

It stands as a crucial lifeline for those who have experienced human trafficking. This Visa allows them to rebuild their lives, access support services, and pursue a brighter future in the United States. The fact that the annual cap has never been reached signals an untapped potential to assist more survivors and combat human trafficking effectively.

Are Children And Spouses Eligible As Dependents?

When delving into the complexities of the T Visa application process, it’s common to have questions regarding the status of family members.

A common query involves children’s eligibility as dependents and spouses’ inclusion in the application. The answer is yes. Children under 21 who remain unmarried can be dependents on the T Visa. Individuals qualify, and their eligible children can receive the same protection and benefits. 

Spouses can also be included as dependents in the T Visa application process. When they grant you this legal document, your spouse can benefit from the same immigration protection. This ensures that you can navigate this journey together. 

Is It Still Trafficking If You Receive Payment?

A common query often arises in discussions of human trafficking: does receiving payment over time negate the possibility of qualifying as a trafficking victim? The answer, however, lies not solely in payment but in how your labor or services were obtained. The pivotal consideration is whether threats, force, or coercion were employed to compel your engagement.

Focusing on pay ignores the crucial factor: how you are recruited and controlled. Regardless of actual payment, coercive tactics are vital in identifying human trafficking. This shifts the focus from money to the manipulation and intimidation used to exploit your labor or services.

The critical factor is the power dynamics and psychological tactics used to enforce compliance, determining if an incident qualifies as human trafficking. This emphasizes the methods used over mere compensation exchange.

What Happens When A Superior Threatens To Deport You?

A common concern is whether a deportation threat qualifies as human trafficking. Such a situation has the potential to meet human trafficking criteria. Threats of deportation are a key aspect of coercive tactics in labor exploitation. By understanding the legal implications and reaching out to knowledgeable resources, you take proactive steps toward addressing these situations. 

Navigating the complex terrain of human trafficking demands reputable advice to ensure your rights and well-being are safeguarded. In cases like these, it’s advisable to seek experienced guidance. Lincoln-Goldfinch Law is equipped to provide the assistance you need.

Immigration Lawyer Explains Labor Abuses Meeting Trafficking Criteria

How Can An Immigration Lawyer Help You

Navigating the T Visa application can be complex. Thus, seeking the assistance of an immigration lawyer can significantly enhance your chances of success. 

  • Legal Guidance: Immigration lawyers possess extensive knowledge of immigration laws and regulations. They provide you with guidance throughout the T visa application journey.
  • Document Preparation: They assist in gathering and preparing all necessary documentation, ensuring that your application is comprehensive and adheres to legal requirements.
  • Understanding Eligibility: Immigration lawyers help you understand the eligibility criteria for a T visa. They assess your circumstances to establish and present a strong case.
  • Evidence Presentation: They advise on presenting compelling evidence of being a trafficking victim, collaborating with law enforcement, and meeting the criteria set by the USCIS.
  • Overcoming Challenges: Should any challenges arise during the application process, immigration lawyers provide strategic solutions, helping you navigate potential obstacles.
  • Legal Protection: With an immigration attorney by your side, your rights are protected. Moreover, you have a legal advocate throughout the immigration proceedings, increasing the likelihood of a successful application.

In essence, an attorney for immigration serves as a crucial ally, offering comprehensive legal support to individuals who were exploited or victims of human trafficking. You can depend on the seasoned attorneys of Lincoln-Goldfinch Law to help you through the complexities of your application. These lawyers have the knowledge and dedication to ensure you will have the most favorable outcome in your legal journey. 


When thinking of “human trafficking,” one may envision foreign abductions leading to involuntary servitude or sexual exploitation. Yet, the issue extends beyond these notions. In the United States, many aspiring for a better life face nightmarish deception and maltreatment. Labor trafficking, a facet often overlooked, involves exploitation through force, fraud, or coercion, trapping individuals in exploitative work. 

The good news is the T Visa is a lifeline for victims and offers a path to permanent residency. With this, children and spouses qualify as dependents, and payment doesn’t negate trafficking if coercion exists. Through its complexities, the guidance from an immigration lawyer is pivotal, ensuring comprehensive support and a successful application.

If you have additional questions about human trafficking, or your specific case, you may contact us at (855) 502-0555. After a brief 10-minute evaluation of your case over the phone, we will let you know what options you have. You can also follow us on our social networks so you don’t miss our weekly broadcasts on FacebookYouTube and Twitch.

About the Author: Kate Lincoln-Goldfinch

I am the managing partner of Lincoln-Goldfinch Law. Upon graduating from the University of Texas for college and law school, I received an Equal Justice Works Fellowship in 2008, completed at American Gateways. My project served the detained families seeking asylum. After my fellowship, I entered private immigration practice. My firm offers family-based immigration, such as greencards and naturalization, deportation defense, and humanitarian cases such as asylum, U Visa, and VAWA. Everyone at Lincoln-Goldfinch Law is bilingual, has a connection to our cause, and has demonstrated a history of activism for immigrants. To us, our work is not just a job. After the pandemic we began offering bankruptcy services in addition to immigration I realized how much lack of information there is in financial literacy resources in Spanish.

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