First daughter Ivanka Trump is set to take part in a summit hosted by the Trump administration to address human trafficking, but according to The Washington Post, many of the most prominent advocates won't be in attendance. The paper writes that "some of the country's most prominent anti-trafficking organizations and advocates won't be there" because they feel that the administration is actually rolling back protections that have been in development for more than 20 years.
"We have such a chasm between rhetoric and reality, Martina Vandenberg, founder of the Human Trafficking Legal Center, a network of attorneys who take on trafficking cases, said to the Post. "This administration is undermining protections carefully built for trafficking victims over two decades."
People adds that the event was organized by Ivanka, who serves as senior White House aide. President Trump, along with Vice President Mike Pence and Attorney General Bill Barr, was set to attend. The White House claims that it is currently working to push anti-trafficking work and pouring "tens of millions" into new initiatives, but many experts say that it's simply not the case.
Representatives from Polaris, a nonprofit organization that runs the national human-trafficking hotline and Freedom Network USA, the country’s largest anti-trafficking coalition, have already decided to skip out on the event. T visas, which offer temporary legal status to immigrants, are the main point of contention.
Back in 2018, the Post reports, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services stated that anyone that applies for and is denied a T visa could face immigration court and be subsequently deported. That meant that many human trafficking survivors became fearful of even applying for the visa.
In a statement to the Post, Ivanka said, "I am honored to stand with the president as we convene federal, state, local, and tribal leaders, alongside survivors, employers, and advocates to ensure that we see the end of the crisis of human trafficking once and for all."
She previously penned an op-ed for the Post where she addressed trafficking directly, promising "bold action" from the administration.