Old Habits Die Hard: Slavery Persists in U.S.

State Department acknowledges that people continue to be bought and sold as property, even today.


The State Department’s 2010 Trafficking in Persons report, a global review of human trafficking and civic and legal responses to it, ranks the United States among the nations that harbor modern-day slavery. The report gives the U.S. high marks on law enforcement and efforts to stop trafficking, but highlights that victims do exist, primarily in the work force. Examples include the captive migrant tomato picker, the prostitute bonded by a smuggling debt, the domestic servant working around the clock without pay. Guess whose most at risk? Immigrant workers from Thailand, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Haiti, India, Philippines and Guatemala. It's interesting how this information is rarely included as part of the dialogue about immigration. We're not surprised by the exclusion or the fact that modern-day slavery exists in this country. After all, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

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