Daniel came to the U.S. on a temporary work visa and began working on a farm with other men who also held the same visa. After arriving, Daniel and his coworkers worked extremely long days with limited access to food and water and were paid less than they had been promised. Daniel and his coworkers all wanted to leave the farm, but their employer had confiscated some workers’ passports upon arrival and refused to give them back. Even if they could get their passports back, the workers did not think they could leave because their visas were tied to their employer, and if they were to leave the farm abruptly, their visas would be invalid.
Since December 2007, Polaris has identified nearly 30,000 human trafficking and labor exploitation cases in the United States through operating the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) hotline and BeFree Textline. Our hotline data from last year alone found that 40% of the labor trafficking or exploitation cases reported to us involved victims on temporary visas. Today, we need your help to call on both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to each pass a bill that ensures greater transparency in temporary visa programs, making it easier to identify and assist victims of human trafficking.