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Lawsuit: Iowa community college program was human trafficking

Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 1:01 PM CST
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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Eleven students from Brazil and Chile have filed a federal lawsuit accusing a northwest Iowa community college, a recruitment company, a pet food manufacturer and a packaging company of human trafficking and involuntary servitude.

The lawsuit filed in the Northern District of Iowa says Western Iowa Tech Community College in Sioux City and the companies conspired to lure the students to Iowa under a work- and study- based visa exchange program only to push them into unskilled labor positions, pay them significantly less than U.S. employees and take unlawful deductions from their paychecks.

The college denies the allegations calling them malicious, untrue, and offensive.

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