Saturday, June 5, 2010

She earned about $0.10 a day (no days off) over eight years ...

This one from DOJ: Texas Couple Sentenced for Enslaving Nigerian Woman for More Than Eight Years --

An Arlington, Texas couple was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge John H. McBryde for forcing a Nigerian widow to perform domestic labor for them for more than eight years. Emmanuel Nnaji, 50, a naturalized citizen of the United States was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Ngozi Ihechere Nnaji, 40, a citizen of Nigeria, was sentenced to nine years in prison. The defendants were also ordered to pay $305,957.60 in restitution.

On Feb. 2, 2010, both defendants were convicted by a Ft. Worth, Texas jury on all charges, including conspiracy to commit forced labor, forced labor, conspiracy to harbor an alien for financial gain, harboring an alien for financial gain, document servitude, and false statements to an FBI agent.

According to evidence presented at trial, the victim, a widowed and mother of six children, including a chronically ill child, was recruited in Nigeria with promises that her children would be cared for in exchange for her work in the United States.

Upon arrival in the United States, the defendants confiscated the victim’s passport and never returned it. For more than eight years, the victim cared for the defendants’ children day and night, cooked and cleaned with no days off. The defendants did not allow the victim out unsupervised; prohibited her from speaking with her children on the phone unsupervised; and forbid her to make friends or converse with the defendants’ friends. According to evidence at trial, the victim also testified that Emmanuel Nnaji also sexually assaulted her. Although the victim was promised that her family would be cared for, her family received a total of about $300 over the eight years. When the victim asked to return to Nigeria, the defendants refused. The victim was ultimately rescued with the assistance of a Catholic priest.

Read more here:

The $300 this woman's family received over eight years (2,920 days) comes out to about $0.10 a day. Not to mention the lengthy separation from six kids. Or the assault that she suffered. What contemptible creatures human beings sometimes are.  The perpetrators get a collective sentence of 29 years in prison. I don't know if that is justice. But there it is.

There is no way to tell from the report how this woman came into the United States eight years ago. But not too long ago, the State Department has released a new material on the Rights and Protections for Temporary Workers.  Excerpt below:

You Have the Right to:
  • Be treated and paid fairly;
  • Not be held in a job against your will;
  • Keep your passport and other identification documents in your possession;
  • Report abuse without retaliation;
  • Request help from unions, immigrant and labor rights groups and other groups; and
  • Seek justice in U.S. courts.

There Are Ways to Protect Yourself
  • Keep your passport in a safe, easily accessible place at all times;
  • Keep copies of your passport, visa, and employment contract in your home country with relatives or friends;
  • Always have the phone number of your home country’s embassy;
  • Keep this pamphlet handy so that you can refer to it once you are in the United States;
  • Keep a record of all the days and hours that you work, and the amount and date of each payment that you receive; and
  • Call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 (24 hours) or the Trafficking in Persons and Worker Exploitation Task Force Complaint Line at 1-888-428-7581 (weekdays 9am-5pm Eastern Standard Time) if you need help.

If you are mistreated or your rights are violated, call these toll-free numbers:
National Human Trafficking Resource Center’s 24 Hour Toll-Free Hotline
1-888-373-7888
(Run by a non-governmental organization)

Trafficking in Persons and Worker Exploitation Task Force Complaint Line
(Monday — Friday, 9am-5pm Eastern Time)1-888-428-7581
(Run by the U.S. Department of Justice)

If you are in immediate physical danger, Call 911

You can check out the whole pamphlet here.

 






1 comment:

lindsay said...

I'm pretty sure they won't survive jail. And I'm pretty sure I'm okay with that.