Texas Woman Convicted Of Keeping Illegal Immigrants As Slaves

REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter
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A Texas woman who kept two illegal immigrants as slaves has been convicted of forced labor.

Olga Murra was convicted of two counts of forced labor and two counts of “harboring an illegal alien,” reports The Washington Post. At her sentencing in November, Murra could receive 20 years in a federal prison for each of her forced labor charges, as well as 10 years for each of her harboring charges.

Murra was born in the United States, but lived in Mexico from after she was born until 1997. When she returned to the U.S., she brought with her a 33-year-old Mexican woman. Murra settled in Texas and ran a cleaning business, first in El Paso and then in Fort Worth.

A year later, Murra arranged for a 21-year-old woman to come from Mexico and work for her. Both of the women came into the U.S. illegally.

Murra convinced the two women that she was the “voice of God on earth,” according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). “Murra represented herself to the women as the voice of God on earth, required them to listen to religious recordings of Murra reading Bible verses and discussing their meaning while they cleaned homes. She caused both women to believe they would go to hell if they did not obey her,” the news release said.

The women worked almost every day, cleaning an average of three to four homes per day. Any money they made cleaning houses had to be immediately turned over to Murra.

One of the women claimed that Murra made them sleep on a bedroom floor, unless they were disobedient. If one of the women disobeyed Murra, she was made to sleep in the garage or the backyard.

She also told one of the women that if she disobeyed her, Murra would call immigration services on her and the woman would end up buried with other illegal immigrants.

“Murra threatened at least one of the women that if she disobeyed her, she would contact immigration and the woman would be buried in a field with other illegal aliens,” a news release from ICE said.

Murra would only feed the women bread and water.

U.S. District Judge Reed C. O’Connor placed Murra into custody after her verdict was read.

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