Skip to main content


This paper examines the overlap between the fields of human trafficking and immigration within the United States. It demonstrates how the victim protection aspect of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 is obstructed by loopholes in temporary work visa programs, state-level variation of immigration laws, and broader anti-immigration objectives. Securing U.S. borders is a vital aspect of national security, but when protecting the state converges with transnational human rights dilemmas, a re-examination of current immigration policies and practices is necessary for addressing the unintended consequences faced by victims of trafficking. Anti-trafficking efforts in the U.S. are currently fettered by ineffective oversight and stringent immigration policies that prioritize illegal immigrants over victims of trafficking. Rather than investing more resources into border security, agencies might focus on financing social programs that minimize the push factors that put disadvantaged individuals at greater risk of being trafficked.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
19 Jul 2022
228 kB



  • Alternative title
    • U.S. Immigration and Human Trafficking Overlap

  • Journal title
    • International Social Science Review

  • Volume
    • 97

  • Issue
    • 4

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • Keywords
  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Stephanie Mae Pedron is a Ph.D. candidate at The Ohio State University. José de Arimatéia da Cruz is a Professor of International Relations and Comparative Politics at Georgia Southern University and an Adjunct Research Professor at the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute.