She stole their money and threatened them with death if they didn’t comply.
To work as an undocumented immigrant is to be exploited. Best case scenario, you find a job that you’ll have to work a lot of hours at just to cover your living expenses. Worst case scenario? You end up a literal slave in a foreign land.
Olga Sandra Murra, a 64-year-old woman living in Fort Worth, Texas (she was born in Mexico), was recently convicted on two counts of harboring an illegal alien and two counts of forced labor. According to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement press release, from September 1997 until April 2011, Murra kept as slaves two Mexican women she brought into the United States illegally. Murra forced both women–their identities are being kept anonymous–to work seven days a week cleaning houses, pocketing all of their earnings. The two enslaved women were shuttled between Murra’s residences in El Paso and Fort Worth, Texas. As if that wasn’t horrifying enough, Murra, who convinced both women that she was the voice of God on earth, forced her victims into listening recordings of herself reading Bible verses.
Murrah faces a maximum of 60 years in prison.
Incidents like these are more common than you think. KCRW, a Southern California-based NPR affiliate, recently did a long series about the exploitation of undocumented immigrants in the restaurant industry in Los Angeles. As part of that investigation, KCRW spoke with a young undocumented girl who was kept as a slave. You can find out more about that series here.
For more information into the Murra case, click here.
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