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State Dept. pulls designation for visa sponsor

State Department dumps sponsor that arranged visas for foreign students at candy plant By The Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) ' The State Department has revoked a company's ability to arrange visas for foreign college students to work at a Pennsylvania candy factory that packed Hershey chocolates.

The students spent weeks protesting working conditions, complaining of hard labor and pay deductions for rent that left them with little money.

A State Department official said Thursday the non-profit Council for Education Travel USA, known as CETUSA, lost its visa designation on Jan. 30 ' nearly six months after the workers began protesting.

A message left for CETUSA was not immediately returned.

The State Department's action comes a year after an Associated Press investigation exposed widespread abuses in the J-1 Summer Work Travel Program. It annually allows more than 100,000 foreign college students to work in the U.S. for up to four months.

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