Overcoming Fear and Building Trust with Immigrant Communities and Crime Victims

One of the most intimidating tools abusers and traffickers of undocumented immigrants use is the threat of deportation. Abusers and other criminals use it to maintain control over their victims and to prevent them from reporting crimes to the police. However, to combat this problem, the U.S. Congress created two powerful tools designed to help law enforcement agencies detect, investigate, and prosecute crimes committed against immigrant crime victims: the U and T Visas. These visas were included in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). The two acts are “important bipartisan pieces of legislation that together advance the cause of justice for crime victims and truly offer the prospect of improving public safety.”