U.S COMMITTEE FOR REFUGEES AND IMMIGRANTS
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USCRI Webinar: The Impact of Proposed Changes to the Asylum System on Survivors of Human Trafficking

By USCRI January 31, 2024

January is Human Trafficking Prevention Month, yet in this month dedicated to raising awareness for and preventing human trafficking, we are seeing lawmakers bargain away essential protections for survivors.

Currently, lawmakers in Congress are engaged in ongoing negotiations, which have pitted the rights of asylum seekers against short-term funding for crises such as the war in Ukraine. These policies, if passed, would represent the largest bipartisan overhaul of the U.S. immigration system in over 3 decades. Some of the proposed changes discussed in this webinar include: (1) expanding expedited removal: (2) raising the credible fear standard; (3) implementing a border expulsion authority similar to Title 42: and (4) instituting mandatory detention. As negotiations remain ongoing, it is essential to highlight the perspective of trafficking survivors, which is often overlooked in these discussions.

We spoke with experts in the human trafficking awareness and prevention space to discuss the impact of these proposed changes on survivors of human trafficking,

These asylum policies would exacerbate preexisting struggles and anxieties for survivors, many of whom fear deportation if they speak out about their experiences and seek help. Traffickers leverage this climate of fear to control their victims, which forces survivors to stay silent. These policies, if implemented, have the potential to undo decades of work educating communities on their rights and empowering survivors to speak up and seek support without fear of punishment.

Click here or see below to watch the full recording.

 

Resources:

To learn more about the impact of asylum changes of trafficking survivors, see USCRI’s Policy Brief.

See below here for resources on asylum and humanitarian protections, shared by Human Rights First.

And see below for findings from the 2017 and 2019 Advocate and Legal Service Survey Regarding Immigrant Survivors, shared by ASISTA.

If you suspect someone is in a potential trafficking situation, contact a relevant anti-trafficking organization, such as the National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888, via text at 2333733, or USCRI’s trafficking services: 1-800-307-4712 or via email at [email protected] and/or [email protected]. Reporting your suspicions to the appropriate authorities can help ensure a proper investigation and the safety of the victim.

 

For questions, please email us at [email protected].

For media inquiries, please email us at [email protected]

USCRI, founded in 1911, is a non-governmental, not-for-profit international organization committed to working on behalf of refugees and immigrants and their transition to a dignified life.


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