From The World Journal
June 22, 2004
A series of frauds involving numerous employment agencies
in Chinatown have been brought to the attention of the Department
of Consumer Affairs as many job seekers accused the agencies of
taking advantage of their illegal status and cheating them out
of their money.
The department is calling on those deceived by unlawful
employment agencies to come forward to the authority, and assures
they will not be asked to reveal their immigration status.
immigrant from Fujian, who paid $70,000 to illegally enter the
United States two months ago and requested anonymity,
said he paid a fee to an employment agency on East Broadway but
did not get a job. After failing to get a refund, he did not report
to the authority fearing deportation. He is among the many recently
arrived illegal immigrants deceived by employment agencies. Many
said that fraud has becoming a common practice.
According to consumer
protection regulations, employment agencies are required to give
a refund to job seekers whose job offers were
cancelled before they started working, or they should secure another
job offer for their clients.
Ms. Gao, another recent immigrant
who received a job offer through an employment agency, was informed
that the offer was cancelled
only 10 minutes after it was made. When she attempted to get a
refund, she was barred from entering the agency. After learning
the new policy, she immediately reported to the Department of Consumer
Community leaders, including Shi Chung-yi of the American
Fujianese Association and Zhang Junjian of the American Fujian
expressed concerns about the recent frauds.
Zhang called on owners
of the employment agencies to exercise self-discipline and have
sympathy for their fellow immigrants. Shi said that job
seekers should be careful when choosing an employment agency and
learn about the procedures in advance.
Chen Jingrui, an immigrant
from Langchi, Fujian, said job seekers face many difficulties. “It
is a good deed for those employment agencies to help people look
for jobs,” Chen said. “But
now some people are giving them a bad name by cheating other people’s
The Department of Consumer Affairs set
up a Chinese-language hotline. Those who need assistance can
call (212) 487-4488 or 311.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . .
Translated from Chinese by Larry Tung.