Human Trafficking on TEMPORARY FOREIGN work Visas
in the u.s.a.

Human trafficking — the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act — afflicts millions of men, women, and children around the world, including in the United States. Data published by the Human Trafficking Legal Center indicates a significant number of federal human trafficking cases involved victims holding nonimmigrant work visas. This booklet explains the potential impacts of the Visa Transparency Anti-Trafficking Act (VTAT), which would create a standardized reporting system across nonimmigrant visa categories that authorize work, and require that this information be made public. Anti-human trafficking organizations could then identify where traffickers are operating abroad, develop targeted outreach campaigns to prevent human trafficking, and warn vulnerable workers and U.S. embassies in source countries. 

Human Trafficking on Temporary Foreign Work Visas in the U.S.A. (PDF)


Justice in MOtion
2018 Results

For more than a decade, Justice in Motion has built and strengthened our Defender Network and developed our model of portable justice - the right and ability of all migrants to access justice across borders. Thanks to our careful work and strong partnerships, we were ready to respond to the 2018 family separation crisis, even as we continued to grow our Defender Network, policy advocacy, and legal programs.

Justice in Motion 2018 Results (PDF)


Shining new light on the UN Migrant Workers Convention
JustICE in Motion - contributing author

Shining new light on the UN Migrant Workers Convention
by Alan Desmond

The UN Migrant Workers Convention is the most comprehensive international treaty in the field of migration and human rights. Adopted in 1990 and in force since 2003, it establishes the minimum standards of human rights protection to which migrant workers and members of their families are entitled. However, it is the least well known of the core international human rights instruments and has so far been ratified by only 51 member states. This volume shines new light on obstacles and opportunities facing the Convention, its added value in international human rights law and its application in selected state parties. It combines the expertise of academics and practitioners, with the contributions of the latter informed by work on policy and advocacy in NGOs, international organizations and specialized agencies.

Justice in Motion contributed to Chapter 8 "Guatemala's Implementation of the ICRMW: Emerging Efforts." 

Justice in Motion board member Beth Lyon contributed to Chapter 4 "Indirect success? The impact and use of the ICRMW in other UN fora" and Chapter 11 "The ICRMW and the US: Substantive overlap, political gap."

Gretchen Kuhner, Justice in Motion board member and Executive Director of IMUMI, a Defender Network member organization, contributed to Chapter 9 "Mexico and the ICRMW: Protecting women migrant workers."

Shining New Light on the UN Migrant Workers Convention  (PDF)


Justice in MOtion
2017 Results

We are proud to have helped thousands of migrants in 2017 through our Legal Action, Policy Advocacy, and Education program. This document highlights the successes of Justice in Motion's programs for 2017 and the team of staff, board of directors, partners, and defenders that made those successes possible. 

Justice in Motion 2017 Results (PDF)


¿Quién? ¿Cómo y ¿Cuánto? (PDF)
Recruitment of Guatemalan Migrant Workers to Quebec

Este informe presenta los resultados de una investigación de seis meses que buscó documentar prácticas de reclutamiento en Guatemala de trabajadores agrícolas guatemaltecos reclutados a Canadá. Esta investigación se debe a una colaboración entre investigadores de la Universidad de Québec en Montreal (UQAM) y varias organizaciones asociadas (Justice in Motion, Alianza de Trabajadores Agrícolas, UFCW-Quebec y el Servicio a las Comunidades de la UQAM). Los investigadores entrevistaron a trabajadores individuales, organizaron grupos focales y realizaron una encuesta anónima. Encontraron que el proceso de reclutamiento puede ser un viaje difícil para los PTETs contratados en Canadá a través del flujo agrícola del Programa de Trabajadores Extranjeros Temporales. Muchos PTETs toman préstamos para cubrir varios gastos y honorarios, algunos de los cuales son cobrados por intermediarios del reclutamiento que operan en el extranjero a nombre de empleadores canadienses. 

¿Quién? ¿Cómo y ¿Cuánto? (PDF)


Who, How, and How Much?
Recruitment of Guatemalan Migrant Workers to Quebec

This report presents the results of a six-month field study that sought to document recruitment practices in Guatemala of Guatemalan agricultural workers recruited to Quebec. This research stems from a collaboration between researchers from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and several partner organizations (Justice in Motion, Agricultural Workers Alliance, UFCW-Quebec and UQAM's Service aux collectivités). Researchers interviewed individual workers, held focus groups and conducted an anonymous survey. They found that the recruitment process can be a rough ride for TFWs hired in Quebec through the agricultural stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. The report reviews various international conventions and treaties that reflect concerns regarding the need for social protection of TFWs, arguing that their ratification could generate more awareness of the particular rights at stake, and makes various policy and practice recommendations for monitoring and enforcement that would hold recruiting intermediaries and employers more accountable. 

Who, How, and How Much? (PDF)


Justice In Motion

We see the world becoming more connected and global. But protections and rights guaranteed in one country are difficult to enforce across a border. All too often, justice stops at the border. When justice is compromised, so are migrants, families, businesses, and you. Some companies whose products and services we use every day take advantage of these obstacles to cheat migrant workers out of honestly earned wages. This has become business as usual. People trying to reunite with family or flee from abuses in their home country face hurdles that put their lives at risk. Justice in Motion is dedicated to exposing and overcoming these injustices. Through a network of on-the-ground human rights partners, Justice in Motion makes sure that wherever migrants go, their rights will follow.

Justice in Motion E-Brochure (PDF)


Justice in motion
2016 Results

We are proud to have helped thousands of migrants in 2016 through our Legal Action, Policy Advocacy, and Education program. This document highlights the successes of Justice in Motion's programs for 2016 and the team of staff, board of directors, partners, and defenders that made those successes possible. 

Justice in Motion 2016 Results (PDF)


Visa Pages:

"Visa Pages" is a one-stop resource to find comprehensive information about the various non-immigrant visas U.S. employers use to bring temporary foreign workers from all over the world to work in the U.S. 

Each page contains detailed information summarizing key points of each visa, its history, the hiring process, data, basic regulatory scheme, enforcement mechanisms and challenges in seeking portable justice for migrant workers. The intention is to leave each page with a understanding and perspective on the interplay of temporary worker programs in the U.S.

PDFs: H-2A     H-2B     H-1B     L-1     A-3/G-5     J-1     F-1     B-1 


Challenges in Transnational LitigatioN:
Representing Absentee Migrant Workers in U.S. Courts

This is a practice manual for U.S. advocates representing clients who have left the United States. It was first published in 2008 for the National Farmworker Conference and was updated and reissued in 2010, 2012, 2014 and again in 2016. There is no redacted version currently available. The publications shown is a preview with table of contents. 
For a complete copy, which includes strategy for employee advocates, visit the National Employment Law Project (NELP) National Wage & Hour Clearinghouse under the Transnational Workers section, or contact Nan Schivone (

Challenges in Transnational Litigation (PDF)


REcruitment Rules:
Countries of ORigin

"Recruitment Rules: Countries of Origin" examines the labor recruitment laws, regulations, and protections in five countries of origin -- including El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Mexico -- implicated when workers are recruited for jobs abroad.

Recruitment Rules: Countries of Origin (PDF)


Recruitment Rules:
Countries of EMployment

"Recruitment Rules: Countries of Employment" details the legal framework for international labor recruitment in four common temporary work programs - the United States nonimmigrant H-2A (agricultural) and H-2B (nonagricultural) visas, and the Canadian Temporary Foreign Worker Program and the bilateral Special Program for Agricultural Workers with Mexico and Caribbean nations.

Recruitment Rules: Countries of Employment (PDF)


reglas de reclutamiento:
países de origen

(Spanish version of Recruitment Rules: Countries of Origin) Análisis comparativo de leyes de reclutamiento para trabajadores en el exterior en México, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, y Nicaragua.

Reglas de Reclutamiento: Países de Origen (PDF)


reglas de reclutamiento:
países de Empleo

(Spanish version of Rules of Recruitment: Countries of Employment) El reclutamiento de migrantes en la región de México y Centroamérica para el trabajo temporal en los Estados Unidos y Canadá.

Este informe examina los programas de trabajo temporal - en los Estados Unidos las visas de no inmigrante H-2A agrícolas y H-2B no agrícolas, y en Canadá el Programa de Trabajadores Extranjeros Temporales y su Programa Especial bilateral para Trabajadores Agrícolas con México y las naciones del Caribe - y detalla las normas que se aplican a casos de reclutamiento laboral internacional para ambos países. El objetivo es proporcionar una comprensión más detallada del contexto legal de estos programas de trabajo a interesados y defensores de derechos de trabajadores migrantes temporales.

Reglas de Reclutamiento: Paises de Empleo (PDF)


Money Transfers to mexico
3rd Edition, 2016

American University Washington College of Law, Centro de los Derechos del Migrante (CDM), and Justice in Motion (formerly Global Workers Justice Alliance) release our third edition of Money Transfers to Mexico, a manual designed to help migrant worker advocates navigate the transfer of funds to their clients in Mexico. The new edition of the manual provides updated information, including concrete tips and examples to help advocates send settlement funds to their clients in Mexico and facilitate justice across borders.

Money Transfer to Mexico (PDF)


Principios Básicos sobre Detención y Deportación
de Inmigrantes en Estados Unidos

With a record number of deportations in recent years, members of the Defender Network are increasingly overwhelmed by requests from their communities for help in finding loved ones that have been detained in deportation proceedings

Principios Basicos Sobre Detencion y Deportacion (PDF)


Confiscación de Titulos de Propiedad en Guatemala

This report highlights how Guatemalan, H-2B recruiters are confiscating the property titles of workers who want to go to the USA on H-2B visas in order to ensure that the workers will not complain about work conditions or talk to legal advocates in the USA.

Confiscación de Titulos de Propiedad en Guatemala (Resumen Ejecutivo)

Confiscación de Titulos de Propiedad en Guatemala


The American Dream Up for Sale:
A Blueprint for Ending International Labor Recruitment Abuse

As the immigration debate took shape on Capitol Hill in 2013, a huge piece of the legislative discussion undoubtedly surrounded the rights of immigrant workers. On the heels of new immigration principles released by both the Senate and the White House this week, the AFL-CIO, American Federation of Teachers, Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc. (CDM), Farmworker Justice, Justice in Motion (formerly  Global Workers Justice Alliance), National Guestworker Alliance, Southern Poverty Law Center, and a diverse group of other international and national organizations have brought to light a new report released by the International Labor Recruitment Working Group (ILRWG), which identifies the shortcomings and gaps in the current regulatory and enforcement framework governing immigrant worker programs. The report documents the pervasive abuses experienced by immigrant workers in a range of low to high skilled fields and further provides important recommendations for reform.

The American Dream Up for Sale (PDF)


Jornaleros SAFE Project

Five organizations in Mexico and the U.S. worked to investigate the conditions of recruitment and employment of seasonal agricultural workers with H-2A visas. The H-2A visa U.S. is a temporary work program for agricultural workers that is controlled, funded, and managed by the U.S. agricultural companies and recruiters. H-2A visas allow U.S. employers to hire foreign workers on a temporary basis to perform work exclusively in the agricultural sector, as long as there are no U.S. workers available locally. 
The majority of H-2A workers are from Mexico (over 90%). From 1997 to 2010, the entire program grew 349% and has varied, but this trend is unlikely to disappear.

The information in this infographic comes from seven states in Mexico: Baja California, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Oaxaca, San Luis Potosi, Sonora and Veracruz.

Jornaleros Safe Project (PDF)


Jornaleros SAFE Project Report:
Executive Summary

Five organizations within Mexico and the United States met to investigate the conditions of recruitment and employment of seasonal agricultural workers with H-2A visas: Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Centro Independiente de Trabajadores Agricolas (CITA), Dimensión Pastoral de la Movilidad Humana (DPMH), Justice in Motion (formerly  Global Workers Justice Alliance), and United Farm Workers. The project aims to improve employment and working conditions of H-2A farmworkers through trainings directly to migrant workers, developing relationship with key players who work on the issue, an awareness campaign in Mexico regarding the reality of H-2A visas, and engaging both governments to improve their policies through advocacy.

The report extracted information from seven states in Mexico: Baja California, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Oaxaca, San Luis Potosi, Sonora and Veracruz.

Jornaleros Safe Project Report: Executive Summary (PDF)


Jornaleros mexicanos en EE.UU. con visa:
los modernos olvidados

(Spanish-language publication of Jornaleros Safe Project) Cinco organizaciones de México y los Estados Unidos se reunieron para investigar las condiciones de contratación y el empleo de los trabajadores agrícolas temporales con visas H-2A: Centro Independiente de Trabajadores Agrícolas (CITA), Dimensión Pastoral de la Movilidad Humana (DPMH), Justice in Motion (antes Global Workers Justice Alliance) y la Unión de Campesinos. El proyecto tiene como objetivo mejorar el empleo y las condiciones laborales de los trabajadores agrícolas H-2A a través de capacitaciones directamente a los trabajadores migrantes, el desarrollo de relaciones con actores clave que trabajan en el tema, una campaña de sensibilización en México con respecto a la realidad de visas H-2A, y la participación de los gobiernos para mejorar sus políticas a través de la promoción.
El informe extrae información de los siete estados de México: Baja California, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Oaxaca, San Luis Potosí, Sonora y Veracruz.

Jornaleros Mexicanos en EE.UU. con Visa (PDF)


El Artículo 28 de la Ley Federal Del Trabajo
vigente en Mexico

(Spanish version of Article 28 Mexico's Federal Labor Law) El objetivo de este reporte es el de determinar si el Artículo 28 de la Ley Federal del Trabajo de 1970 vigente en México (“LFT”), el cual regula la prestación de servicios de los trabajadores mexicanos fuera de la República Mexicana, constituye un recurso jurídico viable y efectivo en situaciones en las cuales las normas mínimas contenidas en dicho precepto son violadas en perjuicio del trabajador, ya sea por los reclutadores individuales, las agencias de colocación, el empleador extranjero o el Gobierno Mexicano. Se puede leer el resumen ejecutivo aquí

El Articulo 28 de La Ley Federal del Trabajo (PDF)


Article 28 of Mexico's Federal Labor Law

The objective of this report is to determine if Article 28 of the Mexican Federal Labor Law of 1970 (the “LFT,” by its Spanish acronym), which regulates the provision of services by Mexican workers outside of the Republic of Mexico, constitutes a viable and effective legal recourse in situations where the LFT’s minimum standards are violated to the worker’s detriment, be it by individual labor recruiters, recruitment agencies, the foreign employer, or the Mexican government.

Article 28 of Mexico's Federal Labor Law (PDF)


Visas, Inc: Corporate Control and Policy Incoherence
in the U.S. Temporary Foreign Labor System

Read about how the landscape of American employment is being dramatically altered by an expanding system of guestworker visas issued to hundreds of thousands of foreign workers, in the report Visas, Inc: Corporate Control and Policy Incoherence in the U.S. Temporary Foreign Labor System. Visas, Inc provides the first comprehensive analysis of the many visas that employers use and misuse to bring foreign workers into the U.S. in every field, from low-wage jobs in agriculture and domestic work, to specialty occupations in health care, education or information technology. The system is vulnerable to misuse by employers who use foreign labor to undermine established wages and working conditions in the U.S. The result is that U.S. workers are losing out on opportunities, and foreign workers have almost no protection from exploitation, unpaid wages, unsafe conditions and even trafficking and other abuses.

Visas, Inc. (PDF)