TAMPA (FOX 13) - Seen on TV link: https://www.uscis.gov/
Federal officials said they hope to spread the word about how immigrant human trafficking victims can get help.
Authorities held a training session in Tampa Tuesday for law enforcement and community group members to learn the signs of human trafficking and what to do for someone who needs help out.
They say human traffickers are targeting immigrants - promising them a better life - only to enslave and abuse them. The criminals often try to scare foreign victims into staying quiet by threatening deportation.
Officials say deportation should not feel like a threat because several programs have been designed to help victims stay in the country. Those people may also provide valuable information to law enforcement about who traffickers are.
Tony Bryson from U.S. Customs and Immigration Services was on hand to explain options available to victims of human trafficking.
"With all of us working together, victims will have a path to legal residency and be able to move forward with their lives," Bryson explained.
U.S.Customs and Immigration Services offers information for the public on its website, https://www.uscis.gov/.