Human Trafficking in the Kansas City Area
By Sylvia Maria Gross
Kansas City, MO – This week, federal prosecutors charged the managers of the Frosty Treats ice cream truck company with human trafficking. The five managers allegedly recruited eight Russian students to come to Kansas City for an educational and cultural work experience. The US Attorney for the Western District of Missouri says that the eight young men had their documents taken from them when they arrived in June, and they were housed in two one-bedroom apartments with mattresses on the floor and no telephones or internet access. According to the Kansas City Star, they were given daily sales quotas, and if they failed to meet them, they'd have to reimburse the company for gas and truck rental fees. The local Frosty Treat managers and the national company both deny the allegations.
KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross asked Kansas City immigration lawyer Mira Mdivani of the Mdivani Law Firm how common this kind of exploitation is in Kansas City. Mdivani says there are legitimate programs for young people from other countries to work and study here.