This week, the U.S. State Department replaced Rick Ruth as head of the J-1 visa program with Robin Lerner, who has a strong anti-human trafficking background.
Below is a statement by Jennifer J. Rosenbaum, National Guestworker Alliance Legal Director.
“We are encouraged by the appointment of new leadership at the State Department to oversee the J-1 visa program. Asst. Sec. Lerner’s background in civil rights and combatting human trafficking will be helpful as the State Department reforms program rules to end the exploitation of student workers. We welcome her leadership in ensuring J-1 programs provide students a meaningful cultural and educational exchange, rather than sourcing them to employers as a captive, exploitable workforce.”