Mexican Human Trafficking Victim Granted T Visa

August 26, 2020

Cleary Gottlieb successfully represented Ms. R, a citizen of Mexico, in her application for T nonimmigrant status (T visa), a form of immigration relief available to individuals who are or have been victims of human trafficking.

While Ms. R was living in Mexico, a man she considered a friend paid hospital bills and bought food and diapers for her sick infant. The man then invited Ms. R to travel to the United States so she could allegedly work at his family’s business and pay off the debts she owed him. Ms. R traveled to the United States, where she was forced to work in prostitution. Ms. R eventually escaped from her trafficker and returned to Mexico. The trafficker, however, found Ms. R in Mexico and twice attempted to kidnap her, forcing Ms. R to flee to the United States to escape him.

Upon her return to the United States, Ms. R reported her trafficker to law enforcement and continues to assist in an ongoing criminal investigation. Cleary filed her T visa application in October 2019, and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services approved the application in August 2020. As a result, Ms. R is now able to lawfully live and work in the United States and will eventually be eligible to apply for lawful permanent residence. In addition, Ms. R’s children, who remain in Mexico, will be eligible to lawfully travel to the United States with T visas and reunite with their mother after many years of separation. Cleary will assist them with that process.

Ms. R’s case was referred to Cleary by Sanctuary for Families.