Filipino Teachers Brought to US in 'Virtual Servitude'

Union alleges scheme to exploit poor educators
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 28, 2009 5:15 PM CDT
A federal complaint says Filipino teachers were exploited after accepting jobs in the US.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – A federal complaint filed by the American Federation of Teachers alleges a scheme to bring Filipino teachers to the US essentially as indentured servants. Two recruiting companies, run by siblings in the Philippines and Los Angeles, are accused of exploiting 300 Filipino teachers by arranging visas and jobs in Louisiana. But they charged an ever-escalating series of hidden fees that put the teachers deeper in debt with no way out in a foreign country, reports USA Today.

The companies, PARS International Placement and Universal Placement International, helped the teachers get their coveted H-1B visas, then held onto them and forced the teachers to pay thousands in fees and inflated rent, the AFT complaint alleges. It uses the term "virtual servitude." The complaint seeks action against the firms, but it also could result in serious repercussions for school districts who turned a blind eye to the abuses.