The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 has been presented as an important tool in combatting the exploitation and abuse of undocumented workers, especially those forced into prostitution. Through a close reading of the legislation and the debates surrounding its passage, this article argues that the law makes strategic use of anxieties over sexuality, gender, and immigration to further curtail migration. The law does so through the use of misleading statistics creating a moral panic around "sexual slavery", through the creation of a gendered distinction between "innocent victims" and "guilty migrants" and through the demand that aid to victims be tied to their willingness to assist in the prosecution of traffickers. As a result, the legislation is less a departure from, than of a piece with, other recent anti-sex worker and anti-immigrant policies.
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