Victim helps police convict human traffickers

December 11, 2018

Carlos*, at 17, was caught up in the raid of a chicken farm in Ohio.

As a minor, Carlos had been staying at a juvenile shelter run by the Office of Refugee Resettlement. The housing ended when he turned 18.

Shortly after his eighteenth birthday, Carlos was referred to Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Boston through the Alternatives to Detention Program. It was only then that Carlos was discovered to be a victim of labor trafficking.

Traffickers had reached out to Carlos’s parents in his home country of Guatemala and offered him a job. When he arrived in the U.S., he was told that he would have to work off the money that the traffickers spent on his journey. They forced him to work in filthy conditions without any protective gear and paid him less than $75 each week.

Carlos assisted law enforcement in a case against the traffickers, which resulted in convictions of several people. He was eligible to apply for a T-Visa, a visa for victims of human trafficking, which was granted in the summer of 2016. Once his T-Visa was granted, Catholic Charities applied to bring Carlos’s parents and siblings to the United States to reunite with him.

[*Name changed to protect privacy.]

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