White House Trafficking Event Ignores Diminished Protections for Trafficking Victims

Statement by Refugees International President Eric Schwartz on tomorrow’s White House event on fighting human trafficking:

“It is ironic and depressing that the Trump administration would pat itself on the back for leading the charge on battling human trafficking while it pursues policies that endanger victims of trafficking and erode hard-won protections for trafficking victims that were authorized by Congress and implemented over the past decade.  

Last year, Refugees International documented a distinct rise in the denial rate for those seeking T visas, which allow victims of severe labor or sex trafficking who are in the United States to legalize their status, access services they need, and bring their abusers to justice. Since 2016, the denial rate for these visas has skyrocketed from 20 percent to around 42-46 percent. The administration has been especially dismissive of claims by women and children who have been trafficked over the U.S. southern border. This terrible approach also discourages victims from coming out of the shadows and applying for visas. Whether or not this sad story comes up at tomorrow’s White House photo op, these children, women, and men who have been denied protection must not be forgotten.”

For more information please contact Sarah Sheffer at ssheffer@refugeesinternational.org or 202 540 7029.