Local News

Exploited Deaf Mexicans Found in Sanford

Posted July 25, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— They come to America with hopes of money and brighter futures, but some Mexican immigrants are getting far less. Immigration officials say they've found many Mexican immigrants living in virtual slavery in the US., and one of those cases in North Carolina.

Mexican authorities have discovered deaf Mexicans in two other US cities who are living and working in conditions similar those discovered in New York recently. The foreign ministry announced its latest discovery in a Thursday press conference saying that 24 deaf Mexicans were found by Mexican Consular officials in Sanford where, like the New York group, they were selling key chains on the street. Consular authorities also reported finding six deaf and mute Mexican vendors in Chicago.

The ministry said Mexican officials are taking steps to locate any other deaf Mexicans working in similar conditions in the US.

When the first group of exploited Mexican immigrants were found living in New York, federal authorities set up a national task force to investigate the exploitation of illegal immigrants.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service has received reports of similar abuses in nine other cities.