Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The 13th Amendment Has Been Abolished


Time to go off topic. It's time to talk about the modern day American slave trade. Slavery in New York City is alive and well. Take a look around - you don't realize it, but many of the people that you share the sidewalks with in the morning are slaves right out of the 19th century.

Farmers in Fujian Province in southern China, for example, are willing to pay "recruiters" as much as $80,000 to be smuggled into the United States. The ultimate destination is most often New York City (specifically Chinatown, Flushing, and southern Brooklyn) with its large Chinese population. The smuggling organizations are complex operations that recruit directly in the Chinese villages, follow the immigrant through the whole emigration process, provide forged immigration documents, and provide for the initial cache of food and shelter.

Once here, the immigrant is trapped within the insular Chinese immigrant community, has little knowledge of English and American ways, and is saddled with debt that is virtually impossible to pay. The slave master then assigns the immigrant to horrific working condition in dangerous sweatshops, or relegates them to 80 hour work weeks in a variety of menial positions. Many of the immigrants are assigned to work within the drug trade. Young girls are oftentimes forced into mandatory prostitution. Those who break down and eventually want to return to China are threatened with extortion, bodily injury, and even death.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

I guess we now know where the TTT private schools, Sallie Mae, and Hudson got their business model from.

Anonymous said...

"Those who break down and eventually want to return to China are threatened with extortion, bodily injury, and even death."

Those of you who want to stop doing doc review may take a normal job like most associates and start on the bottom of the pay scale and get raises as you learn how to become a real lawyer. Noone is forcing you to review documents all day for VERY GOOD PAY.

Anonymous said...

When it comes to human trafficing and global slavery, India is the worst offender. Caste system plays a major role. Girls as young as 13 are sold into prostitituion. Bangalore has thousands of women who are dehumanized and exploited. On the other side of town, however, biglaw and traitors like David Perla are setting up shop. Until the repressive caste system is eliminated and human rights are respected SAY NO to India.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0iGaZIs5UY&feature=related

Anonymous said...

1:49 - Valid point. But some people simply cannot afford to work in shitlaw for $40K a year with no benefits. Personally, many of the people I know who were able to pull it off come from the upper middle class and were getting family support. Oddly, shitlaw nowadays is becoming a luxury. Law school tuition really needs to stop inflating three times faster than inflation.

Anonymous said...

The US needs to stop allowing trade with repressive regimes that don't uphold laws against human rights.

Anonymous said...

Woops!

Meant to say "that don't uphold laws supporting human rights."

Anonymous said...

you need to start at the bottom at 40 grand and work your way up son.

Anonymous said...

This site has sank to a new low. Comparing the exploitation of people who come here illegally and become virtual slaves to attorneys in the doc review world is ludicrous and offensive. It is time to get some perspective here and stop behaving like a spoiled brat from Long Island. Sure the temp world sucks, but it is nothing like the degradation and hopelessness that many helpless illegals have to endure day after day paying off their debt to the smuggler.

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone is comparing being an illegal immigrant sex slave to being a contract attorney. I actually think it is nice to step back sometimes and appreciate how lucky we have it.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know if organizations which help fight slavery are in need of pro bono legal help? Seems there might be something we can do here.

Anonymous said...

Legal help? These people cannot be helped by some TTT pro bono organization. I once read that one of these smuggling gangs killed a police officer in Minnesota. It's an AWFUL situation that isn't covered enough by the mainstream media.

Anonymous said...

Check out this group:

http://www.polarisproject.org/

Anonymous said...

Well, let's hope we can use our law degrees more positively. All of the negative rants are borne of the frustration that we all feel from having to work in virtual gulags on many of these projects. As we know it is incredibly depressing and stressful to not have a steady job, have burdensome debt and be treated like dirt on an ever-shrinking temp job. All the while your family wonders why you aren't happy with your "great law job".

The comparison to actual slavery is inapposite. We have really fashioned our lives out of the poor decisions we made, for the most part. Bad timing in terms of the collapse of the legal market i.e the commoditization of our degrees, offshoring and skyrocketing costs of legal education have only heaped additional levels of stress and humiliation upon us. We all strive to be successful and we thought a career in the law would provide this, on some level. For many of us, it has/will not. We face a declining standard of living in an oversaturated market, so yeah, we're mad about it. It's not what we bargained for by going to law school.

But for the bulk of us, going to law school did not pan out and ultimately it will have to be written off and a new career started. This is our own doing and we have to bear the burden of our poor choice/performance.

This in NO WAY can be compared to the indentured servants of Fujian Province or any other horrific human rights tragedy. We don't in any way have it that bad, and we should be grateful. We can choose other career paths and many of us clearly should.

I do sincerely hope that the next generation of law students can see how poorly a great many law grads are doing and think twice before applying to and attending law school.

Anonymous said...

The ABA should ensure that young lawyers receive proper real world training so people like this can be helped.

What we have today, however, is the ABA requiring young wannabe lawyers to attend overpriced monopolized law schools with mandated gigantic unnecessary libraries and overpaid tenured faculty. A generation of young lawyers is being created that is heavily in debt and wasting away spending their time clicking computer screens, or writing bullshit corporate memos that will never see the light of day.

Meanwhile, a small number of older, shyster immigration lawyers are allowed to charge exorbiant rates and prey upon these helpless souls.

Anonymous said...

"I don't think anyone is comparing being an illegal immigrant sex slave to being a contract attorney. I actually think it is nice to step back sometimes and appreciate how lucky we have it."
3:20 PM
Why do you think Tom the Temp put the article on here if he did not want to compare this modern day version of slavery to doc review?
I do agree though that we should appreciate what we have in the temp world. If I could not make my 100k plus per year doing this crap, I don't know what I would do to make that kind of money. Yes, by all means appreciate what you have and use your right to complain all you want about our working conditions, but do not compare our lot with people who really have horrible lives.

Anonymous said...

its always good to look at the less fortunate to make ourselves feel better. Just like the associates that come here to look at temps.

Anonymous said...

The only conceivable reason to include this post was to directly compare contract attorneys to illegal immigrant sex slaves. Geeze, your logical induction reasoning techniques are surely top notch!

Anonymous said...

Tom, way off topic. Let's get back to talking about the Nigerians.

Anonymous said...

while this is kind of an far out comparison, the business model is the same, exploit those on the lower rung and snare em with debt to limit their options and profit off the debt. The only difference is the degrees of extremity. As in all things, those who profit from it will defend it.

Anonymous said...

This problem is only going to get worse. Food inflation (thanks again to our speculator friends on Wall Street and biofuel Al Gore environfreaks) is hitting China especially hard. People are starving and will literally do anything for a better life.

Anonymous said...

Did I hear $80,000? *ears perk up* A new offering!

-Recruiter

Anonymous said...

Hmmm....a little document review/ share cropping, with immigrant smuggling on the side. Sounds likely to make me a lot of money.

Anonymous said...

"...a Mark*, a Yen, a Buck, or a Pound,is all zat makes ze world go round...it makes ze world go round..."



Fn1....okay, Euro....

Anonymous said...

Should we do a sick out instead of a strike??

Anonymous said...

http://newyork.craigslist.org/
mnh/lgl/680839375.html

Another deflation - $30 per hour.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

dear 1:49 pm.
what f'nng planet are you f'nnn on thinking doc reviewers are turning down associate job offers left and right to do doc review at "very good pay"* with no prospect of promotion or even a job tomorrow.

go be a f'nnnn idiot you fuck. you honestly can't be that stupid you dumbass waste of air.

*and good pay is relative, doc review pay once you take into account 7 years of higher ed. and the bar to qualify is basically min. wage. when you account for wages that you passed up and costs you incurred.

Anonymous said...

Tom, just a friendly correction. I used to live in China and I can tell you that only the wealthiest Chinese are able to get hold of 80,000 dollars.

The figure of 80,000 Chinese Yuan (around 12,000 US dollars) might almost be realistic, but even that's a fortune for most Chinese farmers.
If the figure were 8,000 Yuan (1,200 US dollars), then I would believe it. Please re-check your data.

Anonymous said...

C'mon...12:23, No one is a "waste of air", even if they disagee with you, and even if they are an "f...ing idiot." Same goes for associates who think they are better than temps. Temps give up security for flexibility and associates vice versa. Surely the farmer and the rancher can be friends....

Anonymous said...

Right now, the sign up fee to be an ID slave is $150,000 US dollars:)

Anonymous said...

http://img37.picoodle.com/img/img37/4/5/12/f_elephantbeam_5cc0710.jpg

Bea Arthur said...

A TTT law degree is a path to untold riches.

Anonymous said...

Actually, 2:14, I used to work for a Chinese Immigration law firm, many of the immigrants paid anything from $20,000 to $50,000 to the smugglers depending on what part of China they were coming from.
Personally, I couldn't continue with the firm, they paid crap. Loved the work though.

Anonymous said...

The smuggling fee is something that most people can't afford upfront. That's why these people become slaves.

It's like a mortgage. The company that arranged the illegal transport "owns" you until your "mortgage" is paid off.

Asanka said...

I used to work for a Chinese Immigration law firm, many of the immigrants paid anything from $20,000 to $50,000 to the smugglers depending on what part of China they were coming from.

This is an interesting story, because Central and South Americans simply pay $5,000.00 or so to a coyote to walk across the Mexican-US border. An Asian can't walk here. To get here legally can take over eight years, plus legal expenses.

So yeah, it's crazy. I spent a couple weekends ago at Riker's Island. Almost all residents were dark-skinned and Spanish-speaking; some but very few Asians.

So sad that the plethora of poor pemanently-indentured temping attorneys cannot better show solidarity with these poor Asian slaves.

Anonymous said...

Working for ANY employer is "wage slavery"-- no matter how 'good' your working conditions are: because YOUR EMPLOYER commands you to work on X or Y or Z (under penalty of suspension, firing, etc.) while you may want to do A, B, or C (or NOTHING). The 13th Amendment has long since been a JOKE under a Capitalist economy. It might as well be repealed!