NIWAP has developed comprehensive charts tracking state laws on forced labor, involuntary servitude, slavery, slave trade, and peonage, which are not expressly included on the U visa criminal activity list, and identified the qualifying criminal activities on the U visa list that are contained within these state statutes. The goal of these charts is to provide a tool that will assist U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS) officials in adjudicating U visa cases involving U visa criminal activity and similar activities occurring in the workplace. These charts will help increase DHS adjudicators’ understanding of the state statutes that define these criminal activities.
We hope these tools make the processing of U visa certifications signed by the Department of Labor, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and state departments of labor that investigate labor abuses that may also involve other U visa criminal activity more efficient, potentially reducing the need for Requests for Further Evidence. This is particularly important because many cases in which a federal or state labor and workplace enforcement agencies, police, or prosecutors are pursuing investigations, enforcement actions or criminal cases under state or federal laws that involve crimes that either not on the U visa list and/or would constitute “similar” criminal activities. These are cases that often, as part of the pattern of abuse and the totality of circumstances in the case, include U visa listed criminal activities. This occurs most commonly when U visa criminal activities are detected as part of the state, local, or federal agency’s investigation, but are not the crime being investigated or prosecuted by the agency. The second way this occurs is when the crime being investigated or prosecuted by the state, federal, or local certifying agency is a crime which is a “similar” criminal activity to a U visa listed criminal activity. These charts will help VSC adjudicators easily access statutory definitions and requirements under state laws to see which state crimes are included as U visa criminal activities within the crime’s definition. When this occurs, the adjudicator can decide the case based on the included U visa criminal activity.
- Charts Cover Letter to DHS: U Visa Certifications in Employment Based Abuse Cases
- Appendix I- States with Forced Labor Statutes
- Appendix II- States with Forced Labor mentioned in Other Statutes
- Appendix III- States with Slave Trade Statutes
- Appendix IV- States with Involuntary Servitude Statutes
- Appendix V- States with Involuntary Servitude Mentioned in Other Statutes
- Appendix VI- States with Involuntary Servitude and Slavery (Slave Trade) in the State Constitution and in Statue
- Appendix VII- States with Peonage Statutes
- Appendix VIII- States with Peonage Mentioned in Other Statutes
- Appendix IX – Multi-State Overview: Forced Labor, Involuntary Servitude, Slavery and Peonage Definitions
This publication was developed under grant number SJI-20-E-005 from the State Justice Institute. The points of view expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the State Justice Institute.