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  Schaffer says islands trip was fact-finding tour of sweatshops
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Last EditedServo  Apr 14, 2008 12:14pm
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MediaNewspaper - Rocky Mountain News
News DateFriday, April 11, 2008 06:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionFormer congressman Bob Schaffer says the night he landed in Saipan to review working conditions in the U.S. territory, he demanded an immediate tour of a garment factory he heard had an unsavory reputation.

A welcoming committee wanted to take Schaffer to his hotel, he said, but he prevailed. He said he found women working in a "sweatshop," and demanded leaders of the Northern Mariana Islands investigate.

"I was told that shortly after I left (the Marianas) that the factory was shut down," he said Friday, stressing he never verified the information.

The 1999 trip to Mariana Islands, arranged in part by now disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff's firm and a California-based religious group, received scant attention at the time.

But the trip has become an issue in Schaffer's U.S. Senate bid after the Fort Collins Republican held up the islands' guest-worker program as a potential model for Congress to consider as it studies immigration reform.
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