Officials seek out more human trafficking victims (reported in the Miami Herald and written by AP Hispanic Affairs Writer Laura Wides-Munoz)

According to the article, “the U.S. government offers roughly 5,000 visas a year to illegal immigrants who agree to testify against the traffickers who brought them to this country and then forced them into prostitution or other servitude. But in the first eight months of this year, only 524 victims applied for the visas and less than half were issued.”

Federal officials would like more of these illegal immigrants to testify, but it is difficult, with the rise of anti-immigration sentiment. Another problem is that even though these types of visas were approved in 2000, rules for implementing them weren’t released until 2007.

To help remedy this problem and raise awareness about human trafficking, the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services officials are touring the country speaking about the visa program.

Read the full article here.

I chose this article because I just found out that these types of visas are available. The article did a good job of explaining the obstacles this visa program faces. At the end of the article, the writer mentioned that “authorities are often concerned they’re being asked to give someone a green card, rather than simply verifying the individual was a cooperative crime victim or witness,” I wanted to know more about the officer’s concerns.

-Cristabelle Tumola