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Legal Information: Federal


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August 12, 2019

I think that I am a victim of severe human trafficking. How do I contact law enforcement for help?

To be able to apply for a T-visa, you must be willing to assist with law enforcement's investigation of the criminal traffickers, unless you are a minor or you have received a "trauma exception."

It is possible that you may come into contact with law enforcement after a place where you are being forced to work is "raided" by police, after you are arrested for prostitution, or in another way. You do not have to wait for law enforcement to find you, however. If you are able to, you may decide to make a report to law enforcement to report that you are a victim of human trafficking by contacting:

However, choosing to put yourself in contact with law enforcement can be very risky. Depending on the policy of the law enforcement agency you contact, you may be referred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which can lead to being detained and/or deported. If at all possible, please try to connect with an immigration lawyer before contacting law enforcement. To locate a local attorney, please visit our Finding a Lawyer page and enter your state. For national immigration organizations, go to our National Organizations - Immigration page.

Instead of contacting law enforcement, you can contact:

  1. the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice at 1-888-428-7581. They may help you file a complaint and refer you to a law enforcement authority.
  2. the National Human Trafficking Resource Center's Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or you can send a text to 233733, which corresponds with the letters BeFree on your phone.

Note: Once you file for a T-visa, law enforcement can provide a “law enforcement agency (LEA) endorsement,” which is also known as a “declaration of law enforcement officer for victim of trafficking in persons,” or a Form I-914, Supplement B. This is a statement from law enforcement saying that you have cooperated with their requests in investigating or prosecuting the case. This form is not required when you apply for a T-visa, and it does not guarantee that USCIS will grant you a visa. An LEA endorsement could help you make a stronger case to prove you should qualify for a T-visa.1 For more information on all four requirements that you will have to prove, go to Am I eligible for a T-visa? For more information on applying, see Applying for a T-visa.

1 8 C.F.R. § 214.11(f)