ASISTA Virtual CLE Conference
Selecting Strategies for Survivors of Trafficking: A Deep-Dive Comparison of the U and T Visa
Wed., March 6 – Thur., March 7, 2024 (12-5pm ET)
This two-day conference is intended for intermediate attorneys and DOJ Accredited Representatives who have experience or interest in working with immigrant survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, labor offenses, or other crimes that may constitute human trafficking.
ASISTA attorney experts will be joined by other national leaders in the field to discuss immigration options for survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, labor violations, or other offenses that may constitute human trafficking, with a particular focus on comparing and contrasting the U visa and T visa and their related or ancillary benefits. Each session will focus on a particular element, set of elements, or benefit of the visas, and examine what each requires and how that can inform the selection of an application strategy for your clients. Among other things, we will take a close look at the definition of trafficking, law enforcement cooperation requirements, where the harm to the applicant is and is not relevant, and the accompanying waivers of inadmissibility, to equip attendees to identify a fitting strategy for their clients. We will also examine where the ancillary benefits for each visa process diverge, what survivors want you to know, and where policy has played and is likely to play a role in future developments.
Intermediate Training: 8 CLE credits
Day ONE: Wed., March 6th (12:00-5:00pm ET)
Session One: (1.5 hrs.) 12:00-1:30pm ET
Refresher on T and U Visas, and T- and U-Based Adjustment of Status: In Session One we set the stage for the rest of the conference by reviewing the latest requirements and processes for T and U visas, as well as the adjustment of status options that follow. We highlight some points of divergence in both elements and benefits.
Speakers: Kelly Bryne, Staff Attorney, ASISTA; Rebecca Eissenova, Senior Staff Attorney, ASISTA; Stephanie Morales, Morales Law, PLLC.
Session Two: (1.5 hrs.) 2:00-3:30pm ET
The Element of Trafficking in Ts and Us: Building on Session One, this session will zoom in on the circumstances that meet the definition of the underlying trafficking victimization for each visa. Using case examples, our experts will answer the questions: When are the elements of a “severe form of human trafficking” met in the context of domestic violence or intimate partner violence? What facts need to be present for a sexual assault to constitute trafficking? When does an agreement to be smuggled into the US become a trafficking situation? Are some scenarios better suited to argue for T visa eligibility, rather than a U, or vice versa?
Speakers: Carson Osberg, Senior Attorney with the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST); Lia Ocasio, Staff Attorney, ASISTA.
Session Three: (1 hr.) 4:00-5:00pm ET
Labor-Based Deferred Action and Continued Presence for Trafficking Survivors: It has been just over a year since DHS announced a deferred action program for undocumented workers involved in labor disputes or investigations into workplace violations. In this session, experts will discuss this form of relief, the intersection of Labor DA (or DALE) with U and T visa relief, and the comparative benefits and strategic considerations of Deferred Action or Continued Presence for T-eligible survivors of trafficking.
Speakers: Mary Yanik, Tulane; Cristina Velez, Legal & Policy Director, ASISTA
Day TWO: Thru., March 7th (12:00 – 5:00pm ET)
Session Four: (1.5 hrs.) 12:00-1:30pm ET
Two Points of Distinction: Law Enforcement Cooperation Requirements and How Harm Relates to Each Visa: Session Four brings you a deep dive into some disparate elements of T and U visas. First, we discuss the requirement for law enforcement cooperation and how to prove it for either visa. Next, we discuss the different reasons it may be relevant to show that harm resulted, or is likely to result, from the trafficking victimization. For T visas, especially, we will also examine how the cooperation component and level of harm suffered can be related, and, for both visas, we will talk about how the human impact of trafficking can and should be woven into arguments for many elements of the application.
Speakers: Hilary Chadwick, Sanctuary For Families NY; Rebecca Eissenova, Senior Staff Attorney, ASISTA
Session Five: (1.5 hrs.) 2:00-3:30pm ET
What’s in a Waiver: In this session, we will focus on inadmissible survivors of human trafficking. We will discuss how the waiver standards differ and overlap for T and U visas—and adjudication trends you need to know. We’ll then move on to discuss the impacts of inadmissibility on T and U adjustment of status applications, both on paper and in practice.
Speakers: Tim Fallon, Supervising Attorney, Her Justice; Lia Ocasio, Staff Attorney, ASISTA
Session Six: (1 hrs.) 4:00-5:00pm ET
Working With Trafficking Survivors: Trauma-Informed Representation and Policy Advocacy: For this session, experts bring you a complement to the rest of the conference’s focus on legal and procedural issues. What do survivors of trafficking want you to know about how best to work with them on advocacy – both in individual cases and efforts to seek systemic change? How can we make our practices welcoming and respectful of the survivor’s experience and decision to come forward? And what are the larger policy goals of trafficking survivors? Anti-trafficking advocates from the policy world will share their thoughts about these questions to ground our learning from the past two days.
Speakers: Rafael Bautista (Expert consultant with lived experience, member of US Advisory Council on Human Trafficking); Emma Eckner, Senior Policy Specialist, Freedom Network USA (FNUSA); Cristina Velez, Legal & Policy Director, ASISTA.
Prices for full training (6 sessions = 8 CLE credit hrs.)
- $350 Legal Staff/Advocates/Non-Profit
- $450 ASISTA Member Private Attorney
- $600 Non-member
Note: Early bird pricing ends on February 29th. Prices for training will increase $50 on Wednesday, March 1st. Registration will close the day before the training on Tuesday March 5th, 2024 at 5pm ET. Processing fees apply for online payments.
CLE: 8 hrs of Texas MCLE credits will be applied for this conference. Certificates of attendance will be available upon request and completion of training (all sessions have a 0.5 hr. break in between).
Questions: Contact Maria Lazzarino at email@example.com with any questions.
ASISTA mailing address: PO Box 12, Suffield, CT, 06078