Two men have been sentenced to prison for their role in smuggling Guatemalan teens into the U.S., forcing them to work on an egg farm while living in squalid conditions. The teens’ families had been told they’d be attending school. Complaints were met with threats of violence.
As reported by the Associated Press:
In 2014, federal agents raided a dilapidated trailer park near Marion where the 10 young Guatemalans had been living with no heat and little food. Some said they were lured with the promise of attending school in the U.S. or plucked out of custody at the Mexican border. Eight were under age 18.
The teens and young men were forced to work at the egg farm and turn over most of their earnings to pay for their passage to the U.S., investigators said.
One of the young men spoke in court Monday, revealing he was 17 when he was smuggled over the border and thought he would be attending classes.
The man, whose name was shielded to protect his identity, said when he complained, the smuggling operation’s leader, Aroldo Castillo-Serrano, called his father.
“He threatened my father with three bullets,” the young man said through a translator. “That’s when I started to worry about my family.”
Exploitative employment practices have also been exposed in Canada’s agriculture industry. It shouldn’t surprise us that these abusive workplaces that don’t value life and liberty are brutal for animals too.