Individual Technical Assistance

CAST's Individual Technical Assistance program is tailored specifically for professionals, such as legal providers, social service providers, law enforcement, and program managers, who are actively engaged in assisting survivors of human trafficking with legal matters. If you are a survivor seeking assistance, we recommend contacting the CAST Hotline at 1-888-539-2373.

About our Technical Assistance

Our TA services are designed to achieve the following goals: explain relevant laws and regulations, identify potential errors in adjudication interpretations, and offer strategic suggestions to address legal challenges.

We do not conduct extensive research or fact gathering, provide final legal assessments or determinations, serve as the final reviewers of legal matters, or act as mentors for requesters seeking legal advice.

Requesting Technical Assistance from CAST

To request technical assistance from CAST, please submit your assistance request through our TA REQUEST FORM. For your convenience, we have provided an explanation below outlining the various types of requests that CAST provides.

Our typical response time is within 15 business days. Please note that due to the high volume of inquiries, our response time may extend beyond 15 business days. When we are experiencing high volume, priority is given to the following requestors:

  • OVC Grantees
  • Requests Related to Court or Filing Deadlines
  • Individuals Who Have Completed CAST Trainings

 **CAST does not provide phone consultations. Please do not request a phone consultation within the request form. If you would like to speak on the phone, sign up for our Legal Working Group Calls

Requests from Legal Assistants, Paralegals, Legal Interns, and Law Graduates
To ensure proper supervision and discourage unauthorized practice of law, we require that legal assistants, paralegals, legal interns, and law graduates provide their legal supervisor’s contact information in all individual technical assistance requests. Supervising attorneys and DOJ accredited representatives can expect to be copied on our response to such technical assistance requests. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding. 

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Supporting Resources

Our free resources and guidelines are available on our TTA webpage. We encourage requesters to review these resources before seeking additional assistance. In some cases, we may recommend reviewing relevant materials before seeking further TA. This helps ensure that the TA provided is targeted and beneficial to your specific needs.  If necessary, we may refer requesters to mentors for more comprehensive guidance and support beyond the scope of TA.

Types of Technical Assistance Requests

Please review the list below to understand the type of assistance that we provide:

Case Consultations or General Information

Case consultations are for troubleshooting or strategizing specific cases. In these consultations, CAST provides recommendations on case strategies specifically tailored to the individual request. General Information requests, on the other hand, are not specific to particular cases; they involve questions about general processes or current trends. In response to these requests, CAST does not offer case-specific strategies but instead provides general information about the trends in the given context. For both case consultations and general information requests, please include enough information for us to provide you a written response.

Case Consultations for Human Trafficking Analysis Assistance
Practitioners often reach out to us with questions about whether a particular scenario qualifies as trafficking. We understand that as legal practitioners, it's crucial for you to present a compelling argument within the legal definition of severe forms of trafficking. We're here to support you in building that argument. Hence, we don't simply provide a 'yes' or 'no' response to whether a given fact scenario constitutes trafficking.

If you're uncertain about whether a case involves trafficking, we encourage you to complete our EMP model and share it with us for review. Simply select the following options on the TA request form when you are making your request:

  • Topics to be covered: Other
  • Type of Assistance Needed: Document Review
  • What type of document do you need us to review?: Other Document Review
  • Facts and Questions: Include a summary of the case's facts and any questions you have that can help us understand where you need assistance.
  • Attach the completed EMP worksheet when prompted

Sending us an EMP model is optional; you can request a case consultation without it. However, we've noticed that practitioners who go through this process often gain confidence in their analysis of the legal definition of human trafficking.

Document Review Requests

Currently, we offer document reviews for T visa Requests for Evidence (RFEs), T visa denials, and T visa appeals, which includes a review of USCIS decisions and your responses. Additionally, we also review non-immigration documents, such as post-conviction relief applicant statements or victims compensation documents.

Please note, however, that we do not provide initial T visa declaration reviews at this time. If you are interested in this service, we encourage you to sign up for notifications about our upcoming trainings, specifically our Intensive T Visa Declaration Review Workshop. This workshop is offered regularly and provides in-depth guidance on the initial T Visa declaration review process. We also provide an Initial T Visa Declaration Rubric to help practitioners assess client directions.

For T Visa-related document review requests, completion of two e-learning courses is required:

  1. Human Trafficking Defined; and
  2. T Visas Part 1

To proceed, you'll need to achieve a passing score on the self-assessment on each course.

Be aware that we cannot review your documents until these prerequisites are fulfilled. If your request is time-sensitive, we recommend submitting it promptly and completing the required courses. This proactive approach ensures sufficient time for a comprehensive review.

While our aim is to respond within 15 business days (or even sooner for urgent requests), early submissions are highly encouraged. Your proactive approach not only ensures timely assistance but also allows us to provide you with the best possible support.

Referral Options for Clients

If you are searching for an agency to refer your client, explore the lists of organizations funded to provide services to trafficking survivors, including legal providers, on our Service Referral Lists.

To refer your client to CAST, call our 24/7 response line at 888-539-2373. CAST’s direct services are only available to survivors in Los Angeles County.

Overuse and Ethical Conduct Policy  

We value responsible use of our TA services. Requesters who repeatedly abuse TA services, such as by seeking comprehensive advice without reviewing our free supporting materials, accessing our training resources, or following previous advice may be directed to consult advisory materials and guidelines instead of receiving individual assistance.

Additionally, we retain the right to refuse assistance to any practitioner based on a history of plagiarism, unauthorized practice of law, or other ethical violations. We will review these situations on a case-by-case basis to ensure compliance with our ethical standards and legal requirements.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in adhering to our TA policy. We are here to support you in navigating immigration-related legal matters effectively and responsibly.