Santiago’s Story

Labor trafficking is a booming crime that has insidious consequences. CSA San Diego County aided an abused worker to get the help he needed from law enforcement. Santiago Perez Navarro was an undocumented worker who immigrated from Mexico to work and help support his family.
In 2010, he began to work at a Taco Shop and this is when his nightmare began. The employer would force Santiago to work 12-14 hours a day, 6 days a week. Starting pay was $8.00 an hour and it was common for weeks to go by without receiving a paycheck. And yet the work included all the duties of a cook, dishwashing, purchasing the food items, and cleaning up. On weekends, he catered events to appease his employer. She also demanded that he clean houses with her in the evening. At these different houses, she would seduce him and force him to engage in sexual intercourse with her. Santiago felt helpless and disgusted with himself and his life.
His journey further worsened when a series of trips to a witchdoctor began. At these rituals, Santiago was exposed to horrific animal sacrifices and threats. In 2013, Anti-Human Trafficking advocate, Estela DeLosRios and an FBI agent came to his door to interview him. Santiago was very paranoid, distrusting, and afraid. The interview lasted a total of 3 hours and eventually, Santiago poured out his fears and his concerns.
After assessing his needs, CSA San Diego County was able to refer him to receive a holistic array of services that included psychological help and legal assistance. In 2016 Santiago received his T-Visa from USCIS. He is now very happy, grateful, privileged and honored to be part of a national movement to combat human trafficking and to be a part of the solution. He looks forward to the day he can visit his family in Mexico and see that his sacrifices were not in vain.
Since 1994, CSA San Diego County has been a leading agency in San Diego County in raising awareness to end the perpetration of human trafficking and labor exploitation. CSA San Diego County’s Human Trafficking Program provides personal support and advice for victims by referring victims to a network of services that includes immigration services, eligibility for social services, legal representation, psychological assistance, and housing. Additionally, we have worked extensively with numerous faith based organizations and social service organizations to aid those who are victimized by trafficking.

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