Zoraida Peña Canal, left, was trafficked from Peru to be a domestic servant in Walnut Creek. Lawyer Avantika Rao guided her through the complex T visa program. Peña Canal prevailed, without law enforcement certification of her case. Photo courtesy of Avantika Rao.
A special visa created 12 years ago to save thousands of victims of human trafficking and curb international human trafficking has been vastly underutilized.
Attorneys for rescued victims seeking residency protection say law enforcement agencies are often unwilling or slow to “certify” victims’ claims of having been brought to the U.S. to work by force, fraud or coercion.