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680 arrested in immigration raids

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 8/08/19, 01:45 pm

Immigration officials have released dozens of the 680 people arrested Wednesday at Mississippi food plants. A large-scale raid targeted illegal immigrants at seven chicken processing facilities. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement said it would release detainees who met certain conditions such as pregnant women or those who hadn’t faced immigration proceedings previously.

How significant was this raid? Acting ICE Director Matthew Albence said the raids could be the largest-ever workplace operation in any single state. “This is a long-term operation that’s been going on,” he said.

Dig deeper: Read Charissa Koh’s coverage of Christian kindness to immigrants at the border in Compassion.

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Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital's managing editor. She is a graduate of World Journalism Institute, the Missouri School of Journalism, and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Lynde resides with her family in Wichita, Kansas. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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  •  West Coast Gramma's picture
    West Coast Gramma
    Posted: Fri, 08/09/2019 12:05 pm

    Do you eat packaged chicken? I do. So now who's going to pack my chicken? Not me, nor anyone I know.

    "Drug dealers...criminals...rapists." So why is ICE raiding those who have assimilated into jobs, communities, schools, our economy, family folk, parents...

    But they're taking our jobs...false. "There were more than 2.1 million open positions for low-skilled workers in March, but only 1.4 million people without college degrees looking for work. That’s nearly two jobs available for every unemployed person with nothing more than a high school diploma." And, "In Mississippi, for example, the most in-demand jobs require little to no training or education. In fact, 16 out of the 20 most needed jobs in 2018 didn’t require more than a high school education. That includes cooks, janitors, and construction workers. Yet there are fewer people than ever looking for work. The unemployment rate in Mississippi, while higher than the national average, is at its lowest point in decades, making it hard for businesses to find workers."

    Well, they should stand in line like everyone else... good in theory but not in practice. Our country doesn't offer anywhere near enough legal visas for unskilled workers. "American immigration laws do practically nothing to address the main cause of illegal immigration: super high demand for low-skill work, and not enough workers available to fill those jobs. There’s practically no way for a low-skilled worker from Guatemala to “wait in line” for a visa to take a job at a chicken processing plant in Mississippi. Only one such visa exists — the EB-3 visa — but it’s limited to a tiny number of people (5,000 max).

    "Yet the US economy needs hundreds of thousands of workers to fill these jobs right now. The US is experiencing a serious labor shortage, and it’s harder for businesses to find low-skilled workers these days than high-skilled workers." Quotes taken from:

    Why is our country working so hard to disrupt families when we all espouse family values? We all know that a strong family supports healthy adults. What ICE is doing makes no logical sense and should be stopped now. This is not the solution for the immigration crisis in our country. This just creates more problems. We will reap what we sow.

    Sally over coffee to her neighbor Ernestine: "Right. Let's pick on the poorest of the poor, working class people, gainfully employed, living quietly, and trying to raise their families. Chicken packers. Honestly."





  • Janet B
    Posted: Fri, 08/09/2019 12:27 pm

    And what will be the consequences to the businesses who hired these illegals?  

  •  West Coast Gramma's picture
    West Coast Gramma
    Posted: Fri, 08/09/2019 12:47 pm

    Janet B: This from Fox News--

    "A store owner who caters to Latino poultry plant workers fears he will have to close. A school superintendent is trying to rebuild trust with the Spanish-speaking community. And the CEO of a local bank says the effects are likely to touch every business in her town."


    "The companies involved could be charged with knowingly hiring workers who are in the county illegally and will be scrutinized for tax, document and wage fraud, said Matthew Albence, ICE's acting director.

    Koch Foods, one of the country's largest poultry producers based in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge, said in a statement Thursday that it follows strict procedures to make sure full-time employees are eligible to work in the country."

    Read the full article here:

  • OldMike
    Posted: Fri, 08/09/2019 01:41 pm

    Seems like what you are saying, Ma’am, is this:

    ”They broke the law, but they are doing something that benefits me, so we should ignore the lawbreaking.”

    I believe there was something in a sociology class I took waaaay back in prehistory, that neglecting to enforce a law encourages a great many more people to break that law.  Well, gee, pretty much sounds to me like common sense understanding of human nature. 

    But going back to possible roots of a problem...

    In order to sell you packaged chicken at a price you were willing to pay, the processors had to find ways to cut costs.  One  way is keeping down the wages they pay for that type of work.  And cutting those wages was making many of us American serfs turn our noses up at those jobs.  (Immigrants only take jobs American workers don’t want! Right?)

    So what is a company to do?  “Well, what about finding workers that will work cheap, be too timid to complain about poor or unsafe working conditions, and have poor education/language skills that makes it hard for them to leave for better jobs?”

    ”I like it!  Tell me more!” says boss Tyson.

    For years stories have circulated in my area (home base of Tyson Foods, world’s largest meat processor, and other similar companies) of Tyson representatives passing out fliers in Mexico advertising “jobs in the USA.”  Reportedly some of those even gave dates when a bus would be waiting at a certain Texas location to bring people to Northwest Arkansas for jobs.  

    From what I understand, the verification requirements employers have to follow are not that stringent. They have to view certain I.D.’s presented by an applicant, but there is no requirement for the employer to try to determine that the I.D.’s are genuine.  Fake I.D.’s are apparently easily available. I personally once saw a selection of I.D.’s with different names, accidentally left behind when a rental was vacated. 

    But to you, to many employers, and to many politicians, none of this seems to matter. Sure, the guy running for Congress would say to us American serfs, “Yes, illegal immigration is a problem I will work to solve.”  Then in Washington do nothing about it. (See elsewhere, “Why so many of us voted for Trump). 

    Because, it wasn’t just the fact of “so many of them brown-skinned folks coming here.”  No, what we started seeing was the depression of our wages in more skilled jobs, as the immigrants learned English and learned skills beyond cutting up chicken. 

    I suppose that was never a problem to you, but in my area, semi-skilled and skilled jobs in manufacturing, construction, etc pay around 40% less than the national average. 

    But we get our chicken at a cheaper price. Yaaaayyyyy.

  •  West Coast Gramma's picture
    West Coast Gramma
    Posted: Fri, 08/09/2019 02:15 pm

    Hey Old Mike! Sincerely glad you are alive and well.

    I guess I didn't write clearly enough. My bad. My main point is that our immigration laws need to be updated. I've nothing against legal immigration. There's just waaay not enough of it. And let's say a miracle occurs and greater numbers of legal immigrants enter our country. So then, some or many of today's legal, unskilled workers, or their progeny, will become tomorrow's skilled workers and compete for jobs with people who have been here longer than they--I say more power to them! That's what makes America great. My grandfather was an immigrant who worked in a coal mine. I'm very grateful that he was able to come here legally. So now I'm a full blooded American who gets to complain about the people who come here after me looking for the same opportunities my grandfather had.

    Perhaps a better alternative might be for all of us who cannot afford higher prices on packaged meat to become vegetarians. But wait...who's going to pick the grapes, strawberries, and other delicacies I like? Who's going to trim my cabbage? I used to know hippies who followed the cherry harvests. Maybe some of those Americans would be willing to work in the vegetable fields.

    Or, I could try raising my own food...let's see, my condo porch measures 4' by 10'...I wonder how much corn or potatoes or chickens I could raise there?

    Immigration is a fact of life in all of human history...everywhere, not just here. I've even heard talk that some of our own Native Americans may have immigrated from northeastern Asia, where the Chinese live today. I believe we need to accept the fact of immigration as being part of the human nature that we all have, and find a legal, organized, productive way to deal with it. Some of our current immigration laws go way back to 1965. What ICE did in Mississippi is not worthy of the greatest nation on earth.

    By the way, Mike, did you ever watch the movie, "Schindler's List" with "Star Wars" hero Liam Neeson? The line of argument the real life Oskar Schindler used with the Nazis to get them to spare some of the Jewish prisoners was that the Nazi regime needed them to manufacture their shell casings for the war. Though the analogy is light years away, I still feel grateful for the beautiful immigrants who package my chicken. That their employers are greedy scumbags doesn't make them so.



  • OldMike
    Posted: Fri, 08/09/2019 07:47 pm

    II’ll clarify my position on immigration for those who don’t know me:

    We are indeed all immigrants or descended from immigrants, as West Coast Gramma points out. Even Native Americans (who beat the rest of us here by at least 10 millennia) came across a land bridge from Asia (where the Bering Strait now divides Siberia from Alaska).

    We do have a lot of room in this country and do have the capacity to raise food for a lot more people. 

    The birth rate of American whites is dropping below replacement level and our population is aging. Fewer workers are trying to carry more retirees. 

    Immigrants are for the most part coming here for the opportunity to better themselves and give their children a much brighter future than they could give them at home. The majority does expect to work to receive the benefits of being here. 

    Finally, our current rules for immigration are a mess. Very few dispute this. But in today’s extremely polarized political climate, those we send to Washington are unlikely to realistically tackle the problem. 

    All that said, breaking our laws to sneak into the country should not be condoned. There is nothing constructive that can come from widespread disregard for law and authority. But maybe it’s already too late to worry about that. 

    I do not see a bright future for our Nation, when so much morality, cultural mores, sensible laws, and regard for authority are thrown out in favor of fads and the feelings of emotionally dysfunctional and intellectually bankrupt people, and those in our nation who refuse to pull their own weight.  (And please don’t take this to mean “everyone I disagree with” is in these categories)

    In fact, I believe these are signs the end of human history is rapidly approaching. So maybe we should just throw up our hands and surrender.  (just kidding.  surrender is not in my nature)

  • OldMike
    Posted: Fri, 08/09/2019 07:35 pm

    btw, WCG, did your coal miner grandfather come from Wales?  If so, we’re probably related. I’ve got a Welsh coal miner or two in my ancestry, they settled in north Missouri where there once was a lot of underground coal mining. 

  •  West Coast Gramma's picture
    West Coast Gramma
    Posted: Sat, 08/10/2019 12:18 am

    Ha-ha! I agree with you 100% on at least one thing, Mike--surrender is not in your nature! Thanks for the explanation.

    Poland. He lived in the then coal mining city of Pittsburgh. We burned coal to heat homes and I guess the furnaces that made steel. And I was born on Thanksgiving Day, so what does that make me? Answer: A Polish Turkey