University of Baltimore Journal of International Law


This student comment explores the Palermo Protocol to the United Nation’s Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, and the United State’s response, the Trafficking Victim’s Protection Act (TVPA). Under the TVPA, the U.S. made a temporary, nonimmigrant visa, the T-Visa, available to trafficking victims illegally located in the U.S., provided that the victim cooperates with law enforcement to prosecute their trafficker. Though at first blush the TVisa seems like a valuable resource to victims who would otherwise find no immigration relief for violations of criminal and immigration law as a result of their victimization, but in practice the flawed process to obtain a T-Visa criminalizes victims. This criminalization violates the intent of the Palermo Protocol.