Human Trafficking of Filipinos to Louisiana Results in $4.5 Million Award

Categories: Court
bobby jindal filippino slave teachers.jpg
Gov. Bobby Jindal is pushing harsh anti-teacher legislation in Louisiana
A federal judge in Southern California has awarded $4.48 million to 347 Filipinos because a Los Angeles company violated the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) by tricking them into slave labor as teachers in Louisiana public schools.

This week, U.S. District Court Judge John A. Kronstadt cited "negligent misrepresentations" by LA's Universal Placement International, Inc. (UPI) and PARS International Placement Agency in Quezon CIty, Philippines for the award and ordered the teacher contracts "null and void."

A jury sided with the class action plaintiffs in December, according to court records.

From 2007 to 2010, the defendants lured Filipino teachers to work in Louisiana under a "specialty worker" immigration program by promising they could have the jobs if they paid $5,000 to $5,500 in recruitment fees.

Only after that fee had been paid did the defendants demand that the teachers also surrender 100 percent of their salaries for the first three months on the job in places like the East Baton Rouge Parish School District, Jefferson Parish Public School System and Madison Parish School District.

The result was that the Filipinos became indentured servants to the conspiracy because they had to borrow money at rates of between 43 and 80 percent to make the payments totaling $16,000 or risk losing not just the initial fees but also their jobs.

"The teachers were systematically defrauded and exploited in the recruitment and hiring process in the Philippines by the defendants, who utilized the promise of a unique opportunity to teach in Louisiana to ensnare teachers in a psychologically coercive and financially ruinous trafficking scheme that subjected the teachers to exorbitant debt and forced labor," the August 2010 lawsuit asserted. "Once in the United States, the teachers were further abused and exploited by the defendants."

The lawsuit also blamed the Louisiana school districts for hiring UPI-owner Lourdes Navarro (a.k.a. "Lulu")--a convicted swindler--to recruit teachers from the Philippines. 

The plaintiffs will also recover legal costs for the litigation, but that amount will be determined at a future hearing, according to court records inside the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana.

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14 comments
BobLoblawsLawBlog
BobLoblawsLawBlog

What was the problem? This is capitalism in it's purest form. Privatized labor shipped in from overseas to do a job that cannot be shipped overseas. Sure they're basically slaves, but at least they aren't union, right? This is what they do with nurses, now they move on to teachers, soon it will be other jobs and it will all be perfectly legal under HSB1 visas and when they get rid of those pesky minimum wage laws, usury laws and OSHA.

soyamado
soyamado

What happened to the standards of Background checks, references and proof of legal right to work here go?  Apparently the savings on American teachers vs. foreign won out?? I send my encouragement to these victims of deception and am sorry for their predicament. Real hope is here only: http://stephaniesprayercorner.blogspot.com/

man_utd
man_utd

Not exactly sure where Bobby Jindal fits into this story.

paullucas714
paullucas714 topcommenter

WTF? Seriously? How is it that no one at the school district isn't going to jail over this as well? And why isnt anyone in this company going to jail yet? How is it that Americans were not recruited to fill these jobs?

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young topcommenter

No word as to the American victims who were denied teaching positions --not a 'job Americans won't do'  (tm) -- so that school districts could save a few bucks. 

Plus, it might have been informative to list the principles in this recruiting agencies. Dollars to doughnuts they were overwhelmingly Filipinos too.

rscottmoxley
rscottmoxley topcommenter

@man_utd  Well--"man_utd"--Gov. Jindal has for years been determined to reduce the status of teachers in Louisiana and--wow, despite your own ignorance--here we have a fact loaded example of foreign slave labor being imported into his state to undermine existing teachers. Coincidence?

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young topcommenter

Okay, you mention Lourdes 'Lulu' Navarro -- I guess we have to infer she herself is a Pinay.

man_utd
man_utd

@rscottmoxley @man_utd So if this had happened in Newport-Mesa it would be Jerry Brown's fault? There is definitely something "loaded" here but it is not the facts, it is the writer.

man_utd
man_utd

@rscottmoxley @man_utd I may be a pussy but you are a propagandist. Your article states that this operation commenced in 2007, Jindal took office in 2008. Further, these people were sent between 2007 and 2010. Jindal's ACT1 legislation was not introduced until 2012. If you really want to investigate human trafficking you should look into a company called Village Voice Media...oh...wait...sorry..never mind.

man_utd
man_utd

@rscottmoxley @man_utd What the hell is "lower the status of teachers"? What does that even mean? If there is a connection between Jindal and Navarro then write about it (funny you saved her name for the end of the story), otherwise your picture of Jindal is just cheap sensationalism. As for the fake name accusation, this coming from a guy whose first name is an initial?

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young topcommenter

@man_utd @rscottmoxley Democrats like Zoe Luftgren are in on the importing of labor to undercut American wages and salaries too. It's a bipartisan betrayal. 

rscottmoxley
rscottmoxley topcommenter

@man_utd@rscottmoxley If CA Gov. Jerry Brown were doing everything he could, like Gov. Jindal, to lower the status of teachers in this state and school districts were responding by bringing in foreign slave labor from Asia, then--yes, you moron--he too would be tainted. Brown isn't doing that, however. You, from your cowardly utd fake name perch, obviously have no clue what Jindal has been up. What do they commonly say about weasels like you? Ahh, yes: Ignorance is bliss! Party on, dude! Grab another Pabst!

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