JACKSON, Miss. – A U.S. State Department memo reveals the agency is pushing major changes to a foreign exchange program that's been exploited by unscrupulous labor brokers and criminals in the sex industry.
The Jan. 18 memo obtained by The Associated Press is from Adam Ereli, who is assistant secretary for the department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
It comes more than a year after an AP investigation uncovered widespread abuses in the J-1 Summer Work Travel program. The program annually allows about 100,000 foreign college students to work in the U.S. for four months.
The changes would ban jobs in factories and warehouses, where there have been complaints of hard labor and pay deductions. The memo says the State Department will re-emphasize the prohibition against working in the adult entertainment industry.