Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

"I was enslaved for 40 days" - modern day slavery in the US

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » General Discussion Donate to DU
 
Hugabear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 02:25 AM
Original message
"I was enslaved for 40 days" - modern day slavery in the US
http://thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.com/2011/04/05/i-...

<snip>
In the winter of 2001, I became a victim of slavery in the garment industry in Los Angeles. I was an easy target for my trafficker: I was a desperate mother who had just lost my baby because I didn't have the money to take her to the hospital when she got sick.
...
I had to leave my mom and my children behind. I was told that when I got to the U.S. I will have a job so I could send money home, food and a place to stay. When I arrived in Los Angeles, I quickly realized it had all been a lie.

My trafficker told me that now I owe her almost $3,000 for bringing me to the U.S. and that I had to work for her in order to pay her back.

I was forced to work 18 hours a day making dresses that were being sold for $200 department stores. When all the workers in the factory got to go home, I had to clean the factory. I was forced to sleep at the factory in a storage room and I had to share a single mattress with another victim. The other workers in the factory were able to come and go at the end of their shift. I was forbidden to talk to anyone or from putting one step outside of the factory. I worked hard and I was always hungry. I was given only one meal a day and I had 10 minutes to eat.
<snip>

Horrible story, but a story that everyone needs to read. It's absolutely disgusting that this type of thing can exist in this country.

PS - if you can stomach it, read some of the comments also. some truly sickening teabagger stuff there.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Paradoxical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 02:27 AM
Response to Original message
1. You know what's terrible? The millions of people in other countries in equal or worse conditions.
I don't mean to downplay this story. But no one should be surprised by it. Sweat shops are still a major problem in the international community.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Hugabear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 02:28 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. True, but this is about slavery in the US, which is something we can directly control
n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Paradoxical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 02:30 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Are you aware of the sheer severity of the sex-slave trade in the US?
Especially in my home state of Arizona. That is not something that the average person can control.

These are underground movements. They aren't something you can simply vote out of office.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Hugabear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. I'm having a really hard time trying to figure out what your point is
I posted a story about slavery in this country; the article is an attempt to increase public awareness about this ongoing problem. Not sure exactly what is the point of your responses. Nobody said anything about trying to "vote the problem out of office", and the article doesn't diminish anything going on elsewhere in the world. It's all about public awareness. How is that a bad thing?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. It seems to me this victim and others like her could sue the slaveholders
for fraud and violating their civil rights, perhaps they could get some monetary award, if nothing else.

I have to wonder, how long was the FBI going to investigate this slaveholder?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Ghost in the Machine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #10
17. No, it would be hard to do..
The company probably has no paper trail that they were even there. These people who come here like that have to pay the "Coyote" one way or another, and they always get fucked over, even if they pay up front. I had a crew of between 8 to 13 Mexican men working for me and I have heard some of the insane shit they have been through.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Sherman A1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 05:20 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. I am not sure we can directly control it,
I believe that every effort should be made to do so, yet as mentioned elsewhere in this string, this is part of a huge underground movement and it is hard to control.

If it was easy, it would have already been done.

That said, it is a heartbreaking story.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
JoeyT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:49 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. We can't directly control it, but we can discourage it.
And we're not really doing that now.

"Ultimately, my trafficker was charged with labor abuse and got a light sentence - only 6 months of house arrest."
I'd be happy if I got busted with a joint and got six months house arrest. Make that 10-20 years mandatory sentence and you'll see this kind of thing drop off. It won't end it entirely, but it will die back. If for no other reason than because the people willing to do it are rotting in prison for 1-2 decades. Seizing the assets of the trafficker and the company that keeps slaves seems like it might not be out of line either. We can do it for drugs, why not slavery?

I can think of very few things I'm in favor of really harsh punishment to make an example of someone over, but slavery is one of them.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #5
15. +1
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Hugabear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. Maybe "control" wasn't quite the right phrase to use
But the more public awareness we can bring to these problems, the more pressure we can put on our elected politicians and law enforcement officials to take action, to make this a higher priority.

For example: think about how much money we spend on the futile "war on drugs" - imagine how much of a difference we could make if we took just 10% of that money and focused on human trafficking instead?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Sherman A1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. Agreed
While I suspect it will never be eradicated a much higher priority must be placed upon it with much harsher sentences.

I for one would be okay for the en-slaver to be (after their day in court and a fair trial ) convicted and sentenced to clearing the abandoned minefields of the world with a stick. In this case they would serve a useful purpose for at least a short time period.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. "I don't mean to downplay this story. But " But you do try to. Inappropriate.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 01:11 PM
Response to Original message
9. The useful response is "what kind of government policies would reduce the incidence of this?"
I'm not entirely certain what the answer to that question is - ones that leap to mind include making legal immigration easier and better enforcement of border controls, but I'm not sure how much either of those would help.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Hugabear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. Perhaps a higher priority for law enforcement
Honestly I don't know what the actual figures are, or how much we spend cracking down on human trafficking. But it can't be anywhere near as close to the amount of money we spend waging the "war on drugs".
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Actually, I think this is one of the few arguments *against* scaling back the "war on drugs".
My understanding is that there is an awful lot of overlap between drug smuggling and people smuggling, in terms both of who does them and what pipelines are used.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
reggie the dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. leagalize drugs
and accept way more immigrants legally, that will cut down on smuggling
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 01:14 PM
Response to Original message
11. Slavery still exists, just ask an ex-Scientologist nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Sun Sep 21st 2014, 06:38 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » General Discussion Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC