Feds Bust Immigrant Labor Ring in Houston's Chinatown

Feds Bust Immigrant Labor Ring in Houston's Chinatown

"Federal agents arrested the owners of two employment agencies in Houston's vibrant Chinatown on Thursday and charged them with allegedly providing hundreds of undocumented workers, mostly from Latin America, to prep food, bus tables and wash dishes in Chinese restaurants. ... Sun allegedly charged undocumented workers a $300 to $630 fee to place them with a restaurant, which was deducted from their first month's wages.  Workers were paid a flat salary of $1,000 to $2,000 a month for workweeks of 72 hours, according to a federal indictment unsealed in Beaumont.  In some cases, the workers lived in confined quarters provided by their employers, where they slept on the floor or on air mattresses, authorities said.  Agents confirmed that during the investigation they discovered 18 people crowded into a 2,000-square-foot house in Port Arthur.  By late Thursday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents had arrested 23 of the 32 men and women charged in the employment conspiracy." - Houston Chronicle, Jan. 30, 2014.