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Discriminating Against American Citizens While Exploiting Foreign Workers In The Aftermath Of Katrina August 18, 2006

Posted by C.A.R.D in Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Discriminate, Hurricane Katrina, immigrant, Katrina, New Orleans, Sued.
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Immigrant workers recruited from South America and the Dominican Republic after Hurricane Katrina sued a prominent hotelier Wednesday, saying they are being exploited.

More than 80 workers from Peru, Bolivia and the Dominican Republic have joined the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court against Decatur Hotels LLC and its president and chief executive, F. Patrick Quinn III. The workers are employed in housekeeping, maintenance and other hotel support jobs in New Orleans.

Mary Bauer, a Southern Poverty Law Center attorney who helped file the lawsuit, said workers were lured by recruiters in their home countries with promises of high wages and steady work.

They spent $3,500 to $5,000 for travel and other expenses, which Bauer said Decatur Hotels had yet to reimburse, and are being paid between $6.02 and $7.79 per hour without the overtime pay they were counting on, she said.

“They are hugely in debt. They say, ‘We would have not have come if we had known the truth,'” Bauer said.

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Deja-Katrina? US rescue bogs down in Lebanon July 18, 2006

Posted by C.A.R.D in African-American, Americans, Beirut, Black, Bush, Bush administration, Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Civil Rights, Cyprus, Discrimination, emergency services, Human Rights, Hurricane Katrina, Israel, Katrina, Lebanon, minorities, New Orleans, Politics, President, Race, Racism, rescue, response, UN.
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BEIRUT — Thousands of Americans whose vacations and business trips to Lebanon have degenerated with sickening speed into stints in a battle zone remained stranded here under Israeli bombardment Monday, their frustration and anger mounting because the U.S. government hasn’t gotten them out faster.

Waiting around Beirut with bags packed and fingers crossed, U.S. citizens derided the embassy for busy phone lines, a lack of information and gnawing uncertainty over when and whether they will get out. Hundreds were expected to be shipped to Cyprus today, but how long the full evacuation will take remains uncertain.

“I had heard it might take a week, two weeks. You hear so many things,” said Pamela Pattie, a 65-year-old professor. “Why in the world aren’t we getting it together?”

The frustration has been intensified by news that other countries have already pulled many of their citizens out of Lebanon, efficiently and free of cost. A ferry chartered by the French government carried about 800 of its citizens and several dozen Americans to Cyprus on Monday. The U.S. military evacuated about 60 Americans by helicopter Sunday and Monday.

Other nations have packed people into rented tour buses and driven them over the mountains to Syria. The U.S. State Department has warned Americans against traveling to Syria.

The main U.S. evacuation plan involves a Pentagon-contracted cruise ship, the Orient Queen, due to arrive in Lebanon today to ferry people to Cyprus. The ship can carry about 750 passengers for the five-hour trip. Defense Department officials said other private ships were likely to be hired as well.

Americans have been told to wait for a telephone call that could come in hours — or days. They’ve also been told they can’t board a ship unless they’ve signed a contract agreeing to repay the U.S. government for the price of their evacuation.

The rules have angered Americans who are already fatigued and nervous after days of explosions. “I’m freaked out that our government is treating us this way,” snapped a Rutgers University student who had been studying Arabic at the American University of Beirut. She declined to give her name for fear she would be taken off the passenger list in retribution for criticizing the evacuation effort.

“Are we a Third World country or what?” she said.

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