Summary of The New American Slavery

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They can’t leave their employer’s property without permission. Their salary is often below minimum wage, but they can’t seek other employment. They can’t complain for fear of losing their jobs or being deported or imprisoned. For too many foreign guest workers in the United States on an H-2 visa, this slavery-like nightmare is their reality. In this award-winning article, Buzzfeed News investigative reporters Jessica Garrison, Ken Bensinger and Jeremy Singer-Vine uncover a twisted underworld beneath the US guest worker program: one that leads to unchecked exploitation of international workers. getAbstract recommends this award-winning article to all who care about workers’ rights.

About the Authors

Jessica Garrison, Ken Bensinger and Jeremy Singer-Vine are investigative reporters for Buzzfeed News.



More than 100,000 foreign workers a year use H-2 visas to perform unskilled jobs in the United States. Employees must remain at the company that sponsors them or return to their home country. The H-2 program’s structure allows for rampant abuse including wage theft, dangerous working conditions and inhumane living spaces. Many guest workers said their situations resembled slavery. Companies rarely get charged, although from 2005–2015, at least 800 companies broke laws that are supposed to protect these workers.

Workers often don’t complain for fear of losing their jobs or being deported...

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