STARS Program Offers Lifeline for Foreign National Trafficking Survivors in Detroit Area

By USCRI December 22, 2023

USCRI is proud to announce the formation of the Surviving Trauma and Reaching Success (STARS) program to support foreign national survivors of sex and labor trafficking in the Detroit, Michigan region. STARS will conduct outreach, provide case management assistance, and offer free immigration legal services.

Human trafficking operates in secrecy as refugees and immigrants are exploited in hotels and motels, illicit massage/spa businesses, and other venues. Unscrupulous employers have engaged teens from Central America in dangerous factory and farm work across the state. In 2021, more than 400 trafficking victims in Michigan were identified in phone calls to the National Human Trafficking Hotline; 30% were foreign nationals.

Refugees and immigrants are particularly vulnerable to predatory trafficking because of their non-citizenship status, language barriers and lack of knowledge of their rights. USCRI, as an organization that has worked with 350,000 refugees since 1911, is uniquely qualified to address these multiple barriers through culturally appropriate and trauma-informed services rendered in the native language of victims. We are the nation’s largest provider of services for foreign national victims of human trafficking through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office on Trafficking in Persons (OTIP)’s Trafficking Victim Assistance Program (TVAP) and Aspire: Child Trafficking Victim Assistance Program.

Furthermore, USCRI will offer the crucial services of immigration legal representation which can provide a variety of options for legal relief, particularly T visas (for victims of human trafficking), and U visas (for victims of crime). Other potential remedies include Temporary Protected Status, Self-Petitions for Battered Spouses and Children (VAWA), Protection Orders, Asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, Family-Based Immigration Petitions, Work Authorization, and more.


This pilot program will operate for three years. Please contact STARS@uscrimail.org for more information.


The Michigan State Bar Foundation contributed funding to the STARS-Detroit program. This posting was produced by U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants under 15POVC-23-GG-04097-HT, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this posting are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

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