Program Manager Michelle Ortiz, Esq. is Co-chair of the membership committee of the Freedom Network, an internationally recognized coalition of anti-trafficking experts committed to fighting human trafficking by influencing public policy with a human rights perspective.
AI Justice played an important role in the 2013 re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Deputy Director Michelle Ortiz, Esq. worked closely with other nationally prominent VAWA advocates and the South Florida Congressional delegation to ensure that protections for immigrant women remained in place.
AI Justice prevailed in a unique labor trafficking case, freeing an Argentinian couple who had been forced by threats and coercion to work for months without pay in a luxury bed and breakfast on Miami Beach. Our attorneys reported the trafficking to the Department of Homeland Security and represented the couple in their immigration matter, securing a visa for them under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.
AI Justice played a significant role in the defeat of proposed changes to the Violence Against Women Act in 2012, which would have decimated decades of protection for immigrant victims. Program Director Michelle M. Ortiz published an Op-Ed in the Huffington Post about the flawed bill, HR 4970 Empowers Abusers, Not Victims, 5/12/12. During a 2012 House Judiciary Committee hearing on reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren read the stories of two AI Justice clients to demonstrate the devastating effects that a proposed bill would have on immigrant victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.