Maria was among a group of women from Mexico who were promised legal jobs in the United States, but were instead forced into slavery and prostitution. Their lives were threatened if they resisted.
We were kept in a place far worse than prison. Once the police found us, we spent five months in detention. Our high hopes for America turned into our worst nightmare. AI Justice got me released from Immigration jail and got me a work permit. Thanks to AI Justice, now I have a better life. I don’t have to be afraid. I started working in a restaurant, cooking and cleaning. And then I was the cashier and now I am a store manager. I have gone to the Capitol of the United States four times to testify to the Senators.
The trafficking ring-leader and six associates pleaded guilty and were sentenced from 30 months to 15 years and ordered to pay $1 million to the survivors. AI Justice represented all seventeen survivors in this case. Maria was among those granted legal status through trafficking-survivor visas.