Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $600,000)
Ayuda will provide legal services to survivors of human trafficking in Washington, D.C. (D.C.) and throughout Virginia. Ayuda is a leading source of multilingual legal services for low-income immigrants. D.C. and Virginia are a hub for human trafficking due to a mix of characteristics unique to the region including high immigrant populations; a large number of foreign diplomats who employ immigrant domestic staff; location along the I-95 travel corridor; a prevalent service industry, and rural areas dependent upon immigrant workers in the agricultural sector, all conditions conducive to labor trafficking. A number of high-profile human trafficking prosecutions have occurred in the region. Within the D.C. and Virginia geographic zone, Ayuda currently serves an average of more than 65 survivors of human trafficking in over 100 legal matters each year.
Through this grant award, Ayuda will continue to serve survivors of human trafficking in D.C. and Virginia and expand services to include representation for new clients in D.C. and statewide in Virginia. Ayuda will provide legal advice and counsel to 200 (100 new, 100 continuing) immigrant victims of human trafficking; provide legal representation to immigrant victims in 450 matters before courts and agencies, and conduct 9 trainings and presentations for other providers, including pro bono attorneys or civil legal aid attorneys, to increase recognition of human trafficking by other providers and increase awareness of immigration remedies available to human trafficking survivors. Expanding the geographic focus t to include not only D.C. and Northern Virginia but also the entire state of Virginia, including many rural areas, will allow Ayuda to expand representation and community partnership options to new individuals and agencies not adequately served at this time.