Out of the 30 million people trafficked internationally, about 3.8 million are domestic workers. Rafael used to be one of those 3.8 million people, but after receiving his T-visa and connecting with New American Pathways, Rafael was able to begin making his dreams come true, starting with reuniting with his family.
While Rafael currently lives in Atlanta with his wife and two children, this wasn’t his reality fifteen years ago when he left the Philippines. Rafael was promised a job in South America, but instead found himself in Florida. He was working, but without pay or health insurance, and was still awaiting the green card he was promised when he agreed to leave the Philippines. Years passed, and Rafael still did not receive proper compensation for the cooking, cleaning, driving, and construction work that he was doing resulted in a serious injury that would go untreated. Rafael was a victim of human trafficking, one of the over 30 million people globally exploited in this form of modern-day slavery.
Fast forward ten years to 2015 and Rafael was granted his T-visa, which gave him immigration status as a survivor of human trafficking. After escaping his situation, he and other survivors came forward and were able to advocate for themselves and seek legal help, resulting in the opening of a labor trafficking case. With the help of a Florida organization that supports survivors of trafficking, they were able to receive clothing, money, and support they needed while awaiting their T-visas.
After moving to Atlanta with a friend and receiving the help of the Immigration Services Team at New AP, Rafael was able to bring his wife and children to the United States and finally reunite with them about two years ago. Not only are they together, but they all have been able to receive green cards. Rafael has been working diligently and patiently to rebuild his life. He says he believes that eventually everything will fall into place for him when it’s time; the key for him is patience. He and his wife both have jobs, his children are in school, and he is working toward his goal of having his own business. In the next five years, he and his family plan to pursue citizenship so they can become advocates and provide support for those who are going through the same things they’ve been through. We are so proud of Rafael and are grateful to be part of his story towards new American success!