The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service recently granted a non-immigrant T-visa to a Filipino woman who claims to be a victim of human trafficking, according to GMA News Online.
Jacqueline Aguirre was hired to work for the Best Care Agency in New York, but when her H-1B paperwork was approved, the company did not pay her the $19-an-hour rate they promised. When she questioned why she was not receiving the prevailing wage rate, employers told Aguirre that they would discontinue sponsorship on her visa if she did not agree to the lower wages. Without sponsorship, she faced deportation from the United States.
When Aguierre’s green card was denied, she was automatically placed in deportation proceedings. She decided to take legal action against the company, and through her claim, earned a T-visa.
“This is a proof that victories can be achieved if we fight for it,” Aguierre told the source. “I spoke up against the injustice done to me, so other people heard and helped me through this ordeal.”
Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers lure in individuals under false pretenses of a better life and steady employment. Created in 2000 under the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, the T-visa was designed to allow human trafficking victims to remain in the United States to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers, according to USCIS.
The T-visa allows an individual to stay in the U.S. for up to four years, and deems him or her eligible for legal employment. When the period expires, the individual can apply for legal permanent resident status and bring family members to the United States.
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