We’ve been working with Samantha (not her real name) and her family for a little over a year on a T visa. Samantha was the victim of severe human trafficking. She was brought to the US as a child and her parents then traded her for money. She was traded to a horrible human being who did anything and everything he wanted to her. Samantha has been through so much and it amazes me how kind she is, despite everything. Samantha is grown, is married and has children of her own.
When we first spoke with her, it was clear to me that she had been a victim of human trafficking all those. years ago. It was difficult for her to discuss what happened – she had never really talked with anyone about it before. She tried telling her parents, but they refused to believe her. Still, though, she was brave and vulnerable and provided an excellent statement to submit to USCIS.
We filed the I-914 T application for her and about eight months later we received a Request for Evidence. The deadline was right over the Christmas/New Year’s holiday, but we worked with Samantha to get everything we needed. We overnighted the package on January 2nd and we waited. And waited.
In August, we received a denial of the case. I was shocked. But as I read through the decision, a sinking feeling came over me. USCIS never received our RFE response. I checked the USPS tracking system and it said the package was “in transit.” Yes, in transit, eight months later. The RFE response was clearly lost. At this point, our only option was to file a motion to reopen/reconsider (Form I-290B), which is expensive. It wasn’t a USCIS error, so I couldn’t ask them to waive the fee, unfortunately.
We filed the I-290B with a copy of our response and proof of attempting to get it to USCIS on time. Within a week, the case was reopened and approved!
When we called Samantha with the good news, she broke down in tears. She told us that there were many times she had thought about giving up. She said that our insistence that her case was strong helped keep her going, even after the denial. I’m so grateful she didn’t give up. The year may have She has a stable, bright future in the United States now!