COMMENTS: Bloody Business

Debate over immigration legislation began in the Senate and CBS' Jim Axelrod noticed that its was already beginning "to be picked apart" as many Republicans denounced its amnesty provisions while Democrats worried about the creation of a permanent underclass from the guestworkers it would legalize. As frictions mounted, Axelrod reported that Sen John McCain, a supporter and Annapolis graduate, was "apparently cursing like a sailor" at his Texan colleague John Cornyn. "The White House wants a big victory" for President George Bush's legacy. "This is going to be a delicate coalition to keep together."

The dark side of immigration was the topic of the first part of Pierre Thomas' series Slavery in America on ABC. There may be 15,000 foreigners smuggled into this country and held in indentured servitude working in fields, homes, sweatshops and brothels. Thomas dramatized their plight by telling the story of Evelyn Chumbow, who was shipped to Silver Spring in the Maryland suburbs of Washington from Cameroon at the age of eleven in 1996 and held captive for two years as a domestic slave before she escaped. Once her mistress, Theresa Mubang, beat her with a metal broom: "She has a white carpet," so her orders after the beating were: "Go! Clean your stinking blood up." Mubang is now serving 17 years in a federal prison. Chumbow was granted an immigration visa in exchange for her testimony against Mubang and hopes to work in the Peace Corps.


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