The Emancipation Proclamation didn’t abolish all forms of slavery in America after all.
Cathedral Bible College’s president may spend the rest of his life in prison after being charged with enslaving foreign students and using the threat of deportation to keep them in check.
Dr. Reginald Wayne Miller, 65, remains in jail after he was booked into the Florence County Detention Center shortly last Thursday. He has not been given bail. Agents with Homeland Security Investigations believe they have sufficient evidence that Miller imposed forced labor on the foreign students, a felony that carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years for each count.
Investigators said the victims “described a pervasive climate of fear in which their legal status as non-immigrant students was in constant jeopardy, at the sole discretion of Dr. Miller, who threatened expulsion and therefore termination of their legal presence in the United States for noncompliance with his demands,” according to an affidavit included with the complaint.
The students said they were forced to work full-time at the campus and at Miller’s home, according to the affidavit. Federal law limits those on student visas to a maximum of 20 hours of work per week and that work must be an integral part of the student’s educational program.
The students also said they had bad living conditions and went long stretches without any hot water, heat or air conditioning and that the food was spoiled and insufficient.
“Dr. Miller told [the student] if he did not like this work, he could go home or he [Miller] would call the Immigration and Naturalization Service,” the affidavit states.
One student told the feds that he got paid $50 per week for 40 hours of work.
“At one point, Dr. Miller told [the student] he needed to work harder in order to receive the necessary paperwork to return back to the United States” after visiting his family in a foreign country, the affidavit states. “When Dr. Miller finally gave [the student] the paperwork, Dr. Miller told him that when he returned . . . he would then work 28 hours per week, but get paid $25 per week until his work improved.”
Investigators are working to procure a warrant to search the records at the college. Calls to the school were not returned, the newspaper reported.