By AARON KATERSKY (@aaronkatersky) and ALYSSA NEWCOMB (@alyssanewcomb) June 17, 2013
The owners of 7-Eleven franchises in New York and Virginia created a "modern day plantation system" in which undocumented workers were furnished with stolen identities and forced to work 100 hours a week for a fraction of their wages, according to a federal authorities.
Ten stores in New York and four in Virginia were seized today as part of the federal investigation which found the undocumented workers from Pakistan were given identities stolen from children and the deceased, according to federal prosecutor Loretta E. Lynch.
"The 7-11 franchises seized today will be better known for their big fraud than their Big Gulp," said James Hayes, special agent in charge of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement's office of investigations in New York.
Nine people, including store owners and managers, were charged today with conspiring to commit wire fraud, stealing identities and harboring undocumented immigrants, Lynch said.
The workers, who are said to be from Pakistan, were also forced to live in boarding houses and pay rent to their employers, according to federal authorities, who said at least 18 undocumented workers were found today and could be deported.
The investigation, which is one of the largest criminal immigrant employment investigations ever by the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security, began when several of the employees tipped off police, authorities said.
"These defendants ruthlessly exploited their immigrant employees, stealing their wages and requiring them to live in unregulated boarding houses, in effect creating a modern day plantation system," Lynch said. [More]
Ms. Lynch, the US Attorney who's talking about Pakistani slave practices as a"modern day plantation system", is an African-American. No doubt she's heard much about the historical evils of American slave owners at her school (she went to Harvard) but in fact, this kind of forced labor is more of an Indian thing. (I added the pictures myself, by the way.)
For more about slavery in America committed by Indian immigrants, see
Also, Loretta Lynch's sentence "These defendants ruthlessly exploited their immigrant employees..." could easily say "these immigrants ruthlessly exploited their fellow countrymen." As is frequently the case, only the victims figure as immigrants in the story.