Feds Reach Out To Human Trafficking Victims In San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – San Francisco is one of 30 cities across the country that is being visited by federal immigration officials, who are reaching out to victims of human trafficking, violent crimes and domestic violence.
Human trafficking is now the world’s second largest criminal enterprise behind drug dealing.
Robert Looney, the new director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services San Francisco office, said the abuse has to end.
KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:
“Situations of trafficking and slavery can even exist in our own country,” Looney said. “We want to send a strong message that we don’t want that here.”
Lynn Boudreau, who works with the U.S. CIS Office in Vermont, said immigrant victims need to know that they may be eligible to apply for two different kinds of visas that would allow them to stay and work legally in the United States for three years. The T-visa is for victims of trafficking and the U-visa is for victims of serious crimes.
“Our soul purpose is to raise awareness with all components so that we can do a better job at reaching these people that are vulnerable victims,” said Boudreau.
Boudreau said that because of their status, many immigrants fear reporting abuse, so her office is reaching out to law enforcement agencies so that they can let victims know that help is available.
(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)