Monday, 17 September 2012

(Day 58) Hwaseong Immigration Detention Center-day 45

I did absolutely nothing today but read and sleep. I almost forgot about writing it at all and I didn't draw anything. Hopefully, I'll find out when my court date is this week, which will give me a better idea of when I'll be getting out of here. As of this coming Thursday, 4 days from now, I'll have been locked up for 2 months. I can't imagine how some people deal with being in prison for years. It already feels like a lifetime and it's only been a couple of months.

The new group of detainees I'm with are actually pretty decent compared to the group of Chinese I was stuck with for the last couple weeks. Most of them are stuck in here trying to recover wages not paid to them by Koreans. It seems like a common theme here. These migrant workers come here hoping for a better life, but can only get visas that amount to indentured servitude or modern slavery. This means if they are treated badly by their employers and try to leave their job, there visa is revoked, so they can't leave the job. The employer's know they have them by the balls, so they withhold wages knowing that employees will get deported. The Koreans get what amounts to very cheap, and sometimes free, labor. If the immigrant tries to recover their wages, it means they could be locked up in the detention center for up to a year, while the case goes through the labor board and courts. The employer's know most of the detained employees will just give up rather than stay locked in a cell for a year.

And here we are thinking English teachers have it bad getting fucked over unscrupulous hakwon owners. Most English teachers aren't going to be turned in and arrested by immigration.