January 31, 2008, - 3:16 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Where are 100 missing Nepalese workers who came here on visas to work at an Alabama DVD company? They suddenly just disappeared, just like the 11 missing Egyptian students did a couple of years ago. About 5%of the Nepalese population is Muslim.
Is DVD production one of those jobs “Americans just won’t do”? And why is it that 100 foreign aliens can just disappear en masse? I can, at least answer the second question. We simply don’t track or keep an eye on visa holding aliens in this country. It’s a true national security risk. Yet, The ICE Princess, Immigration and Customs Enforcement chieftess Julie L. Myers, is focusing on scant roundups of employee in worksite enforcement matters.
And that’s why we get stories like this (thanks to reader Matt for the tip). ICE agents are now looking for them. But ICE agents need to be allowed to be proactive, NOT simply reactive:
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – About 100 people who came from Nepal to work at a north Alabama factory seemingly vanished from a pair of apartment buildings, along with a lot of furniture and appliances, and can’t be located, officials said Tuesday.
Immigration agents are trying to determine what happened to the Nepalese workers, among hundreds brought to the United States to work at a DVD factory operated by Cinram Inc., said Lauren Bethune, a spokeswoman for the Alabama Department of Homeland Security.
“We do not in any way consider it a security threat, but we do think it is important,” she said.
A Huntsville television station, WAAY-TV, first reported on the missing workers.
Cinram’s human resources director, Peter Hassler, did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment. But a spokesman for a company that recruited the workers for Cinram said a contact in Nepal believes many of them have returned home. [DS: Fat chance.] . . .
Mary and Tim Snopl told the TV station they rented apartments in two buildings last fall to about 240 workers from Nepal. But Mary Snopl said scores of the workers are now missing, along with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of furniture, televisions and kitchenware.
“I don’t know if they’re living in Huntsville or somewhere else, I just know they aren’t living with us and they aren’t working at Cinram,” she said.
Wilson said his company was seeking a list of items believed to be missing.
Reports last fall said Cinram had hired about 1,350 foreign workers to package DVDs at its plant in Huntsville. Cinram – which describes itself as the world’s largest maker of pre-recorded multimedia products – said it turned to foreign workers because the area job market couldn’t fill its needs.
Bethune said about 100 immigrants were believed to be missing. Agents are trying to determine exactly what type of visas they used to enter the United States.
“It’s possible that they had work visas, they expired, and they went home,” she said. [DS: Again, FAT. CHANCE.]
The workers can earn $8 an hour working 12-hour shifts packing DVDs in boxes. Besides Nepal, Cinram has used foreign workers from Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Ukraine.
The problem is that it isn’t just these 100, it’s hundreds of thousands of workers around America on worker or student visas that have expired. They abscond into the great American abyss and most are never found.
Good luck, America. Forget Monday Night’s phony “State of the Union.” This is the real State of the Union.
Tags: Alabama, Alabama factory, America, American abyss, Bolivia, Cinram Inc., Debbie Schlussel Where, director human resources, Dominican Republic, DVD factory, HUNTSVILLE, Huntsville television station, Jamaica, Julie L. Myers, Lauren Bethune, Mary Snopl, Nepal, Peter Hassler, pre-recorded multimedia products, Princess, spokesman, spokeswoman for the Alabama Department, telephone call seeking comment, Tim Snopl, Ukraine, United States, USD, WAAY-TV, Wilson