“Thai slave laborers freed in El Monte become U.S. citizens” (LA Times)

Maliwan Clinton recalls her first taste of America with a shudder. In this fabled land of the free, she was enslaved behind razor wire and around-the-clock guards in an El Monte sweatshop, where she and more than 70 other Thai laborers were forced to work 18-hour days for what amounted to less than a dollar an hour.

When she was freed, a shocked public learned of slavery in its midst and flooded the Thai laborers with American generosity: Churchgoers offered shelter, community advocates proffered English lessons and job tips, lawyers fought for work permits and legal status for the group.

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