Thai workers in Washington State: Not a Protected Class?
When in January 2001 President Clinton’s pardon of fugitive from justice Marc Rich astonished the country, I was struck how right across the political spectrum it was assumed money had changed hands. Subsequently Clinton rationalized his action by saying it was done at the behest of the Israelis, as Steve Sailer has noted and Joe Conason has reported: The real reason Bill Clinton pardoned Marc Rich Salon Friday, Jan 16, 2009
Possibly the same ingredients are present in the Justice Department’s even more astonishing decision to abandon the prosecution of Israeli-born Mordechai Orian and his gangmastering company Global Horizons, having spent millions of dollars and two years on it and after three of the accused had pleaded guilty.
Even the company’s attorney sounded surprised by what he calls a “moral victory.”
“To dismiss a case with no intention of bringing it back as a new indictment is very unusual,” he said. “You never see the government just walk away from a case that they spent millions of dollars on.”
While details about the dismissal are unknown, the criminal charges are being dropped before more than 50 farm workers were given the chance to testify in court.
US drops biggest-ever human trafficking case amid evidence doubts RT.com July 22, 2012
Although the Government is baldly asserting the case cannot be proved, this flies in the face of voluminous evidence cited by the EEOC when it originally announced the case:
The EEOC asserts that between 2003 and 2007, Global Horizons enticed Thai male nationals into working at the farms with the false promises of steady, high-paying agricultural jobs along with temporary visas allowing them to live and work in the U.S. legally. The opportunity came at a price: high recruitment fees creating an insurmountable debt for the Thai workers. When they reached the U.S., Global Horizons confiscated the workers’ passports and threatened deportation if they complained, which set the tone for the abuses to come.
The Thai workers were assigned to work at six farms in Hawaii (Captain Cook Coffee Company, Del Monte Fresh Produce, Kauai Coffee Company, Kelena Farms, MacFarms of Hawaii, and Maui Pineapple Farms) and two farms in Washington (Green Acre Farms and Valley Fruit Orchards), harvesting a variety of items from pineapples to coffee beans. The EEOC asserts that the farms not only ignored abuses, but also participated in the obvious mistreatment, intimidation, harassment, and unequal pay of the Thai workers.
At some farms, the Thai workers were forced to live in dilapidated housing infested with rats and insects, with dozens sleeping in the same room
EEOC Files Its Largest Farm Worker Human Trafficking Suit Against Global Horizons, Farms Press Release 4-20-11 U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission website.
The AP version of the story Human Trafficking Case Against Executives Is Dismissed July 21 2012 tries to suggest that an error in a similar case by the same prosecution team was somehow relevant:
The case was in jeopardy after federal prosecutors abruptly dropped similar accusations against the owners of Aloun Farms in Hawaii last year….The case…fell apart when the lead prosecutor, Susan French, conceded that she inaccurately stated to a grand jury that workers could not be charged recruiting fees when they traveled to Hawaii in 2004. The law was changed in late 2008 to prohibit recruiting fees.
Why this technicality has any bearing on the physical maltreatment of the workers is not apparent.
Orian and his company have a bad reputation. But any system relying on wholesale importation of indentured workers inevitably leads to political, economic and moral corruption as I noted in "Guest Workers" = Anchor babies + Slavery.
And, with Marc Rich veteran Eric Holder Attorney General, special treatment for some.