Friday, March 18, 2011

Legislation for U.S. Child Victims of Sex Trafficking

Much Needed Legislation For U.S. Child Victims Of Sex Trafficking: Excitement was brewing on Capitol Hill yesterday as, Senators Wyden (D-OR) and Cornyn (R-TX) Reintroduced the 2010 Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST) Deterrence and Victims Support Act of 2010 (H.R. 5575).… The Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Deterrence and Victims Support Act of 2011 has a new breath of life and is stronger than ever. The 2011 will provide crucial funds for services and shelter, and see that victimized children are not criminalized. It is estimated that more than 100,000 children are victims of sex trafficking each year in the United States according to recent estimates. The bill, if passed, calls for the establishment of six shelters to be placed across the U.S., which would provide a much needed safe haven for minors trafficked and sold into sexual slavery. Currently there are approximately some 50 designated beds in the country for U.S. sex trafficking victims, a number that cannot be comprehended for those fighting to support the 100,000 victimized youth each year. [HSEC-3.10; Date: 17 March 2011; Source:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Webinar: "How U- and T-Visas can Assist Trafficking Victims"

HHS Rescue & Restore to Host WebEx Training:

“How T and U visas Can Assist Trafficking Victims

Thursday, March 24, 2011

2:00 – 3:00 p.m. (Eastern Time)


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is hosting a series of free, online WebEx training sessions on a variety of topics related to human trafficking. The information session on Thursday, March 24, will focus on T visas and U visas for trafficking victims and address the following:

· Who can apply for a T or U visa;

· How to obtain a T or U visa;

· The benefits of T and U visas for trafficking victims; and

· Access to federally funded benefits and services via the T visa.


Ms. Rosemary Hartman, Adjudications Officer, Office of Policy and Strategy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Mr. Scott Whelan, Adjudications Officer, Office of Policy and Strategy, USCIS, DHS

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) offers protection for trafficking victims by allowing foreign victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons to apply to DHS for immigration relief, including the T nonimmigrant status (T visa) or U nonimmigrant status (U visa).

In her role at USCIS, Ms. Hartmann manages policy development and implementation of immigration relief for victims of human trafficking, the T and U nonimmigrant status, and the Special Immigrant Juvenile status for abused, abandoned and neglected immigrant minors. Mr. Whelan manages policy development and implementation of immigration relief for victims of human trafficking and other qualifying crimes through the U nonimmigrant status.

How to Register:

To register for the Thursday, March 24th, 2:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) training session, please click on the link below (or place it into your Internet browser):

Multiple participants from an organization are encouraged to register one individual for the session; participants can view the training through one computer and a speaker phone.

For those of you not familiar with WebEx trainings, all you need is access to a computer, the Internet, and your phone. After you register, the WebEx system will send you a confirmation e-mail with login information for both the web and the teleconference portions. Please save the confirmation email because it includes the following information:

Toll-free phone number and participant passcode for the audio portion of the training session; and

Web site link and passcode (same as the phone passcode) so you can view the PowerPoint (ppt) presentation as it is being presented. The ppt will advance automatically during the training session.

As part of the WebEx session, you can ask the presenter questions. Once on the call, the technician will guide you on how to ask questions orally. The speaker will answer questions during the last 15 minutes of the presentation.

We look forward to your participation!


Maggie Wynne

Director, Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division

Rescue & Restore

National Human Trafficking Resource Center • 1-888-3737-888

Monday, March 14, 2011

New Neighbors Play Launches Performance Series

A family has to leave their homeland and move to Vermont. At first, it is hard to adjust because things are so different here. Then, just as they begin to get settled, the father is robbed while walking home from work. The family is frightened and confused. Should they call the police?

Living the Good Life in Vermont was created by the Awareness Theater Company of VSA Vermont to help refugees and immigrants understand their rights when crime happens to them....and to help Vermonters understand the feelings and experiences of our new neighbors!

The play, which was written and directed by Emily Anderson, will be performed at local community venues, schools, and houses of worship across the state this spring, summer and fall. It is approximately 1/2 hour long, and there will be a question and answer period after each performance. Interpreters will be available for performances in specific cultural communities.

We can incorporate a performance of the play into a larger community or school event. To book a performance in your area, contact Ian Williams: or 802-399-9997.

To view a short psa about the play, visit

A video will also be available soon, free of charge, with translation into nine languages. To reserve a copy, contact Barbara Whitchurch:

U.S. Auditors to Crack Down on I-9 Compliance

This month, the Obama administration announced that it has created an audit office to crack down on employers who hire undocumented immigrants. According to ICE, this action is a result of leads and other reports alleging the employment of unauthorized workers, payment of unfair wages or other unlawful working conditions.

Monetary penalties for knowingly hiring and continuing to employ foreign nationals who are unauthorized to work in the U.S. are in the thousands of dollars. In certain instances, there can be criminal fines in addition to the civil penalties as well as the potential for imprisonment for individuals who verify the I-9 documents.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Talk: Solidarity with Immigrants

Solidarity with Immigrants
Arizona to New Hampshire

Rev. Liana Rowe
Tuesday, March 8, 7:00 p.m.
The Church of Christ
at Dartmouth, Sanborn Room (soup and bread potluck at 6:00)

Rev. Liana Rowe, a minster of the Southwest Conference
of the United Church of Christ, is a resident of N.
Phoenix, Arizona who has been working for humane
immigration policies for more than ten years.
She sits on the Board of Directors for Humane Borders, a
humanitarian organization that maintains water stations in
remote desert regions of Southern Arizona. She has also
been active with Somos America/We Are America
Coalition in advocating for human and civil rights in
Arizona. Rev. Rowe was 2011 recipient of the City of
Phoenix Martin Luther King, Jr. Living the Dream

Friday, March 4, 2011

New York Times: Police Chiefs Express Reluctance to act as "Immigration Enforcment"

Police Chiefs Wary of Immigration Role

As many state legislatures consider laws to expand the role of local police departments in immigration control, police chiefs across the country say they are reluctant to take on these tasks and want clear lines drawn between local crime-fighting and federal immigration enforcement, according to a new report by a police research group.

Dozens of police department commanders who participated in the report recommended that local officers should be explicitly prohibited from arresting people solely because of their immigration status, and should have orders to protect victims and witnesses regardless of that status.

The report, issued on Thursday by the Police Executive Research Forum, cites worries among police chiefs that if they are pulled into immigration enforcement, a job that was limited until recently to federal agents, their ties to immigrant communities will be eroded, with the result that crimes would not be reported and witnesses would be afraid to cooperate in investigations.

While police chiefs have spoken out against efforts to increase their immigration role in cities like Phoenix and Los Angeles, which have been embroiled in debates on the issue, the report makes clear how widespread the concerns are among commanders. Top officers from Salt Lake City, Topeka, Kan., Elgin and Peoria, Ill., Framingham, Mass., and Miami were among the chiefs and sheriffs supporting the recommendations in the report.

Arizona has gone furthest among the states to authorize local police departments to participate in an immigration crackdown, with a law passed last April. It ordered officers to question anyone they stopped about immigration status based on a “reasonable suspicion” that the person was an illegal immigrant. The Obama administration sued Arizona over the statute and federal courts have suspended its central provisions.

Despite the federal challenge in Arizona, similar bills have been introduced this year in at least 19 state legislatures. They have advanced through some stage of approval in Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina and Nebraska.

The Police Executive Research Forum, based in Washington, provides policy research to the chiefs of the country’s largest law enforcement agencies. Its report started with recommendations that police chiefs initially made at a meeting in Phoenix in July 2009. The researchers then looked more closely at six cities where police chiefs became embattled because of immigration disputes in their communities.

While local police officers generally have not been authorized to enforce federal immigration law, the chiefs recommended that arrests based only on immigration status be prohibited by order. They said departments should reinforce policies that civil rights must be protected regardless of a person’s immigration status.

The chiefs called on federal immigration authorities to separate out criminal warrants from civil immigration warrants, which are not based on crimes, in law enforcement databases that police routinely use to check backgrounds of people they arrest.

“I’m trying to avoid my police officers getting into the immigration enforcement business,” J. Thomas Manger, the police chief of Montgomery County, Md., said in an interview Thursday. “It’s counter to my mission,” said Chief Manger, one of the commanders whose role in an immigration debate was highlighted in the report.

He said one of his biggest efforts was to gain the trust of immigrant communities in the county. “If folks think for one second that if I report I was assaulted, the police will deport me, there will be an increase in unreported crime and people won’t testify,” he said.

Chief Manger said he would not advocate any policy that would lessen enforcement against immigrants who committed crimes. Montgomery County “is not a sanctuary jurisdiction by any means,” he said. “If there are criminal warrants, we lock them up as quick as we find them.”