Logo en Global Donate now


Document Details


Print and save

Report/Press release

Labor trafficking on specific temporary work visas: A data analysis 2018-2020

This document is a key resource






Temporary work visas are intended to provide decent jobs to migrant workers while helping U.S. businesses meet their labor needs by filling mostly low-wage jobs that would otherwise sit vacant. Policymakers often refer to the migrants who come to this country as “guest workers.” But data from the National Human Trafficking Hotline shows that these guests — workers who have followed all the rules and laws and are expecting simply to earn a decent living and return home — are frequently exploited and even victimized by forced labor and other forms of trafficking. Indeed, exploitation, trafficking and abuse have become endemic to many of the visa categories.

Overall, more than half of the victims of labor trafficking reported to the Trafficking Hotline during this period whose immigration status was identified were foreign nationals holding legal visas of some kind, including temporary work visas. That is no way to treat a guest — let alone hundreds of thousands of them.

Number of pages


Responsible institution

Polaris Project

Place published

Washington, D.C., U.S

File Attachments


Content types

Policy analysis, Statistics on work and life conditions, and Systemic/state violation of right/freedom

Target groups

Policymakers, Public awareness, and NGOs/community groups/solidarity networks

Geographical focuses

United States