Posts Tagged ‘h2a’

On Hostile Ground, America’s Guestworkers Seek Justice – In These Times – 2/15/12

On Hostile Ground, America’s Guestworkers Seek Justice

By Michelle Chen

The debate around immigration in Washington brings the same smoke and mirrors each election cycle: anti-immigrant slogans about “securing the border” flashing alongside craftily worded policies to sustain the flow of cheap labor, legal or not. Politicians seem to want it both ways: keeping immigrants locked into a brutal underground workforce, while using mass deportation and constant abuse to exclude them from society.

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Morales v. Bimbo’s Best Produce

Antonio Morales et al.  v. Bimbo’s Best Produce, 8-cv-5105, U.S. Dist. Ct., E.D. La. (filed Dec. 2008)

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H-2A guestworkers who were trafficked into the United States from Mexico and subjected to forced labor in the strawberry fields bring claims against their former employer Defendants Bimbo’s Best Produce, Inc. and Charles Relan in Amite, Louisiana.

Upon arrival at the strawberry plantation, Defendant Charles Relan, the owner and operator of Bimbo’s, subjected the guestworkers to a scheme of psychological coercion, threats of serious harm, and threatened abuse of the legal process to maintain control over them and force them to continue laboring in his strawberry fields. Recognizing that the cruelty of these conditions would drive guestworkers to seek to escape, Relan illegally confiscated their passports and visas.

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