Could it Really Happen Here? “Dan Rather Reports” Investigates What Some Call One of the Biggest Cases of Human Trafficking in U.S. History

Colette Carey
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Gulf Coast shipbuilder accused of luring hundreds of foreign workers into “21st Century slavery”

DALLAS (November 3, 2011) – In “American Nightmare,” the episode marking the fifth anniversary of Dan Rather Reports, we investigate a Gulf Coast shipbuilder accused of luring more than 500 Indian workers into years of what amounts to indentured servitude.

Workers tell Dan Rather Reports that the shipbuilder, Signal International, promised them the American dream: Good jobs in the U.S and Green Cards for them and for their families. But the Indians say the company instead trapped them in an American nightmare.

“They don’t care even when we die or live,” one of the workers said. “They just want their work.”

“American Nightmare” tells how Signal’s Indian workers were housed in overcrowded trailers, strung along with false hopes, and threatened with financial ruin if they stepped out of line. The Indian workers were away from family and friends for years – before they finally dared to take a stand.

Dan Rather Reports’ six-month investigation relied on unprecedented access to hundreds of previously unseen internal company documents and videotaped sworn testimony, taken by lawyers for the workers from Signal’s top management.

A clip of the program can be seen here:

What does the future hold for these exploited workers and how is Signal answering these charges?

Dan Rather Reports “An American Nightmare” premieres on HDNet, Tuesday, November 8 at 8:00 p.m. ET with a re-air at 11:00 p.m. ET to accommodate West Coast Prime Time.

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