Chidanand Rajghatta writes
in the Times of India:
Some 500 Indian workers caught in what they claim is a human trafficking racket have asked the Indian government to protect their families in India from vengeful recruiters even as they filed a class action anti-racketeering lawsuit in the US against their American employer.
The case involving the Indian workers and their alleged exploitation is more than a year old. Sometime in 2006, hundreds of welders and pipefitters, mostly from Kerala, responded to a series of advertisement placed by a recruiting company run by Mumbai-based Sachin Dewan promising green cards and permanent residency in US. Over 600 workers from all around India and some from the Gulf paid Dewan up to Rs 10 lakh (about $ 25,000 in todayâ€™s rates), often selling their homes and raising loans, for the promised "American dream".When they arrived in US, they discovered that there were no green cards. Instead, the workers found themselves working for Signal International, a major marine construction company, on ten-month "H-2Bâ€™â€™ visa that bonded them to work for it.
Basically, corporate criminals at Signal International were scamming Indians with the offer of US green cards. I personally think all assets of Signal International and their clients should be available to do right by these people. I also think these guest workers should be sent home so the American public aren`t left holding the bag here. What I expect will in fact happen here is that Signal International will get a slap on the wrist—and the American public will wind up paying the bulk of the costs here.