“San Diego Couple Enslaved Their Maid” A Lie–Why Not “Iraqi Imigrant Couple Enslaved San Diego Woman”?
The headline on this Daily Beast column is incredibly wrong:
By Katie Zavadski, Daily Beast, April 11, 2016
The domestic worker allegedly escaped by passing a note to a nurse in her native language.
A San Diego-based Iraqi couple allegedly enslaved a domestic worker in their home, forcing her to work up to 18 hours a day with no pay, according to charges filed in federal court Friday.
Calling these Iraqi Muslim immigrants a “San Diego couple” in this context is completely mental–why not head the column “Iraqi Muslims Enslave San Diego Woman”?
In fact, the couple was born in Iraq, but lived in Dubai until “coming to America” less than three years ago–probably on H-1B visas.The victim is a poor Indonesian woman, who was removed from Dubai to America when the Dubai authorities started investigating.
Emphasis added, below:
Firas Majeed and Shatha Abbas moved to California from Dubai just over two years ago, prosecutors say. A short time after they immigrated, the husband and wife also allegedly brought over an Indonesian domestic servant, identified in court documents only as W.M. The woman spoke no English and was only able to escape by slipping a nurse a plea for help in her native language.
Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents raided the home on March 22 and removed the woman.
The couple’s “scheme intended to cause the victim to believe that she would suffer physical restraint if she did not perform labor and services,” the government said in a press release. The duo allegedly also hid the domestic worker’s passport and restricted her ability to travel.
Social media accounts belonging to the couple show Majeed is originally from Iraq. His LinkedIn page says he’s worked for the last two-and-a-half years as a construction supervisor, and worked before that in Dubai. Calls to his employer were not returned.
There’s more, about the horrifying conditions the Indonesian woman was kept under, and a disquisition on indentured servitude in Dubai, after which we return to America:
The arrest is only the latest in an epidemic of enslaved domestic workers trafficked to America from abroad. Like the woman in El Cajon, many speak no English and are kept hidden. Two weeks ago in Queens, a woman was awarded nearly $1 million in damages against a Buddhist monk she alleged kept her in slave-like conditions.
In many, many stories like this, the victim appears in the headlines as an immigrant, and the immigrant slavers appear as a “San Diego” or “Long Island” couple. See
I can’t see where the Beast provided a link to Majeed’s LinkedIn page, or the employer, so here they are:
The employer is J. Yessaian Construction, owned by an Armenian-American in Chatsworth, CA.
My questions for the employer–who is not responsible for his employee’s illegal activities–would be
- “Why did you hire an Iraqi from Dubai to supervise construction in California?”
- “How did you hire an Iraqi from Dubai to supervise construction in California?”
The answer to the second question may be H-1B.
A further question for ICE–how did they let an Indonesian woman from Dubai into the country to work as a domestic servant?