12/29/2008 (5:20 pm)
Listen to 19-year-old Shyima Hall as she explains her situation as a domestic/slave in a gated California community. Her owners, a doctor and his wife who emigrated from Egypt, brought Shyima with them at the age of ten. Her parents sold her to them in order to pay for medical services they could not afford. Shyima lived in the garage of their suburban home and worked long hours without breaks. Her family was paid about $45 a month for her services. She was not permitted to attend school — until the Immigration and Naturalization Service found out about her and arrested the couple for slavery. The couple is being deported as they finish their prison terms. They also had to pay Shyima $76,000 — the amount she would have earned at minimum wage while serving them.
Click on her picture to play the video. Sorry about the commercial, but wait it out.
Shyima has since graduated from high school and is living independently in the US. Her family, which remains in a tenement in Egypt, argues that she was better off living with the doctor and his wife than living with them in the slums.
Her situation is apparently one that is increasingly common in the US, as well-to-do couples from Africa emigrate and bring servants and slaves with them. According to the AP story attached to the video, perhaps 1/3 of the estimated 10,000 forced laborers in the United States are servants in suburban homes. Nobody knows how many of them are children. Read the story; it will tear your heart out, but you need to hear it.
Slavery. It still exists. Help stamp it out.
Hat tip to Hot Air.