Forced Labor Crimes Add to Border Problems

If you are like me, you probably thought that the horrors of slavery had been eliminated from the dark corners of farms and factories in the United States of America.

Legally, that would be the case. Unfortunately, however, there will always be some lowlifes who try to run some hideous slavery racket for financial gain.

One such operation recently got dismantled at an egg farm in the Midwest. Good news for everyone involved, especially the victims.

Under false pretenses

What happened there was people from Guatemala, including women and minors, were being brought into the United States under false pretenses. They were promised good jobs and the chance to go to school here.

What they got instead was forced labor under the threat of violence, and squalid living quarters that were nothing more than dilapidated trailers infested with insects and rodents.

The work they were forced to do included the despicable practice of cutting the beaks off chickens, cleaning chicken coops, loading and unloading crates of chickens, and vaccinating chickens.

This was physically demanding work performed for 12 hours a day. If they didn’t work, they were threatened with bodily harm and had their paychecks withheld.

The victims were eight minors and two adults. The minors were as young as 14 and 15.

Making false statements

Three people are facing charges that include forced labor offenses and related immigration charges. Other charges in the mix include witness tampering and making false statements to law enforcement.

If they are found guilty, the perpetrators of these ugly crimes will go to prison for a long time.

Note to Donald Trump and others who have derogatory things to say about people who come across the border into the United States from Mexico and points south: Not all of them are criminals. Most are decent people and many of them are indeed crime victims themselves.

Some criminals do enter this country across the southern border. No question about that. Our immigration laws do need an overhaul. There is so much abuse taking place it is mind-boggling.

A new initiative is needed to take control of the border so that only people with a legitimate need to do so can enter this country. In addition, a fair and humane way must be found to deal with the undocumented individuals who are already here.

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