Irell Secures Permanent Residency for Child Trafficking Victim

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October 2010

Irell & Manella has successfully obtained lawful permanent residency for a young Chinese girl who was a victim of child trafficking.

Irell attorneys Trevor Stockinger and Mike Strub worked with attorney Sandy Chung and Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), an organization that arranges for pro bono representation for children facing removal proceedings, to help the victim obtain a Special Immigrant Juvenile Status visa.  This visa allows juvenile abuse victims who have entered the U.S. without inspection to apply for relief from deportation, and further allows the recipient to apply for permanent resident status, which the Irell team ultimately obtained for the client.

The victim is now living safely with foster parents beyond the reach of the human smugglers who brought her into the country and threatened her with enslavement and death if she did not do what she was told.  The Irell team also obtained special benefits given by the U.S. government to victims of child trafficking, including financial support and a variety of educational and psychological services. 

According to KIND, more than 8,000 children come to the United States each year without a parent or legal guardian as unaccompanied children and are placed into federal custody. While many of these children are fleeing severe abuse or persecution, others are victims of trafficking who would be potentially facing a life of forced prostitution or other illicit activities.