Katherine Soltis

  • Hosted by Ayuda
  • Sponsored by DLA Piper LLP (US), Verizon Foundation
  • Service location Falls Church, Virginia
  • Law school Harvard Law School
  • Issue area Immigrant Populations, Trafficking/Slavery
  • Fellowship class year 2015
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Katherine provided comprehensive legal services to human trafficking victims in Virginia through direct immigration representation, community outreach, and referrals for civil legal remedies.

Immigrant victims of human trafficking face unique challenges in obtaining legal and social assistance. Many victims are unable to speak English, are unaware of available services and their rights, or are reluctant to report their traffickers due to the fear of deportation. Additionally, Virginia has one of the highest reported numbers of trafficking victims in the country. Some organizations in Virginia provide trafficking-related immigration services; however they either operate on a pro bono model or focus on a subset of victims, such as women. This leaves many victims without linguistically and culturally appropriate representation in immigration matters. The Trafficking Project helped address the unmet demand for trafficking services in Virginia by representing male and female immigrant victims in legal proceedings to access their rights and protections.

Fellowship Highlights

During her Fellowship, Katherine:

  • Established connections with local service providers, legal organizations, and law enforcement officials and speak with them about the project
  • Developed presentation materials and translate into other languages; begin giving presentations at immigrant community centers
  • Represented clients in immigration matters
  • Researched data tracking systems to monitor demographics of victims and their needs

Media

The Hypocrisy of Trump’s Anti-Trafficking Argument for a Border Wall

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