Published Online: November 2, 2004
Published in Print: November 3, 2004, as Educators in Texas Indicted in Alleged Smuggling Ring

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Educators in Texas Indicted in Alleged Smuggling Ring

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Federal authorities in Texas have indicted two former and one current school administrator in what they say was a smuggling ring designed to lure Filipino teachers to the United States with promises of jobs.

The indictments claim that the three educators, from the Socorro and Ysleta school districts in El Paso County, took all-expenses-paid trips to Asia in exchange for agreeing to file petitions with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service for the H-1B visas that would allow the recruits to teach in the United States.

U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton also charged a private company and several of its officers with arranging the trips and running the alleged smuggling ring, which the indictment says charged the Filipino teachers exorbitant fees in exchange for the promise of jobs. Only a fraction of those recruited actually landed jobs, according to Mr. Sutton’s office in San Antonio.

The educators indicted include two former administrators with the districts and a current principal, who was relieved of her duties with pay by the Socorro district last month.

The district said in an Oct. 22 statement that it had hired 12 teachers from the Philippines through the company, and that nine were still employed but would not see their jobs affected. The district said it was cooperating fully with federal investigators.

Vol. 24, Issue 10, Page 4

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