In May, 12 people were indicted for allegedly bringing several immigrants to Missouri for construction projects, allowing them to overstay their work visas and threatening them with deportation if they questioned their bosses. One of the suspects is reported to have resided in Arizona. In a piece for The Phoenix New Times, Ray Stern marvels at how few cases of human trafficking have been exposed in the state noting, “Sometimes we get the feeling that modern slavery in the United States is about as common as satanic child sacrifice.”
Stern further goes on to say the case in Missouri doesn’t qualify as slavery: “Judging by the facts in the indictment, it was more like a gentler version of 18th-century indentured servitude. At any point, it seems, the illegal immigrant workers could have walked off the job. True, they might have been deported — (unless they moved to Arizona and got hooked up with some quality IDs) — but deportation to one’s home country isn’t in the same ballpark as being tied to a post and whipped, ‘Southern Man’-style.”
How wrong you are, Mr. Stern.