T Visa Grant Ends 10-Year Ordeal

"Her decade-long battle was finally over. She could stay.  Cayla Roberts, a 25-year-old graduate student at Western Michigan University, would not be deported back to China, a country she was smuggled away from at age 14 by human traffickers known as snakeheads.  She had been sold into the sex trade by her father to settle a gambling debt.  Roberts, who now lives in Grand Haven, was granted a rare T-Visa — given to victims of human trafficking — by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service in June, allowing her to remain in the country legally and pursue citizenship after three years.  Aiding Roberts throughout the 11-year struggle has been the University of Detroit Mercy Law School immigration law clinic, whose attorneys and students wrangled with the immigration system, helping her address denied appeals for asylum while seeking status as an immigrant juvenile." - Serena Maria Daniels, Detroit News, July 8, 2013.