Alliance Responds to Human Trafficking Verdict
July 18, 2013 - The Alliance for Ethical International Recruitment Practices (Alliance) applauds the joint work of the U.S. State Department, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Department of Labor in their efforts to end Kizzy Kalu’s human trafficking scheme. On July 1, 2013, Mr. Kalu was convicted of 89 counts of human trafficking, money laundering, mail fraud, and visa fraud. Mr. Kalu, owner of Foreign Healthcare Professionals Group, recruited foreign-educated nurses to the U.S. to work as nurse instructors and supervisors at Adam University, a school in name only. He promised them annual salaries of $68,000 to $72,000. Upon arrival to the U.S., the nurses were forced to work in long-term care facilities and were paid less than 50 percent of what they had originally been promised. Mr. Kalu also threatened to have their visas withdrawn if they did not pay him 65 percent of their wages or follow his directions.
The conviction of Kizzy Kalu establishes important legal precedents that will help to prevent abusive business practices that reduce freedom of movement of internationally recruited professionals. It also represents an important step toward increasing public awareness of the many forms that modern day human trafficking may take. This conviction shows that in addition to low wage workers, internationally recruited professionals are also susceptible to trafficking. The recent ruling in the case of Louisiana teachers is another example of the how the most egregious forms of recruitment abuse fall under the Human Trafficking Statutes. This case demonstrates the need for better protections of internationally recruited workers. Due to the lengthy immigration process and migrants’ lack of information on U.S laws and the U.S. market, health and education professionals are vulnerable to exploitative contracts signed while still in their home countries.