After federal authorities raided seven chicken processing facilities in Mississippi last week evidence is now surfacing (within probable cause affidavits – full pdf below) of willful and intentional illegal hiring practices. But don’t look for all the employers to be prosecuted.
The Washington Post has an excellent outline of the seven facilities citing dozens of instances where evidence shows each company knew they were hiring people who were not legally eligible for work.
In a surprising number of cases the illegal employees were arrested by Border Patrol in California, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona and released on electronic-monitoring programs, including ankle bracelets, to await court dates.
According to the affidavits federal authorities tracked the GPS locators on some of the employees and found they were illegally working in all of the facilities. During interviews with the workers they stated how friends and family members in Mexico and Guatemala told them where to go for work in Mississippi.
Apparently the ability to gain illegal employment at the Mississippi facilities, and specifically where to go to get hired, was widely known throughout the home communities of the migrants. After they were detained at the U.S. border, they were processed, received monitors, allowed to leave, and then immediately went to Mississippi to begin work.
They were not allowed to work legally in the United States while wearing the ankle-bracelets and monitored. However, they just went to the chicken plants because that was all just part of the anticipated program.
The hiring examples include the customary use of multiple aliases, forged paperwork and ID’s, and using social security numbers of deceased people.
The Washington Post article is really quite remarkable: SEE HERE.
[Excerpt] … The records detail how ICE linked undocumented immigrants to the companies. Investigators found some employees via GPS coordinates at plants operated by all five companies. The employees previously had been arrested by Border Patrol agents in California, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona and released on electronic-monitoring programs, including ankle bracelets, to await court dates. In each case cited, the individuals listed addresses in small towns in central Mississippi where they could be located.
An undocumented Mexican woman working in a Peco Foods plant in Bay Springs, Miss., told immigration officials that she had come to the state because people in Mexico had told her that jobs were available at the chicken plants there.
In cases cited in the affidavits, people on ICE’s electronic-monitoring programs were not authorized to work. But according to the affidavits, dozens of employees in such programs were found working at the seven chicken plants in 2018 and 2019. One successful job applicant was told by a supervisor during her interview that she would need to keep her ankle monitor charged while she worked. (read more)
Now, at first review it might sound like the plant employers would be in big trouble; however, buried deep in the article is this statement from one of the employers (Koch Foods), that everyone should pay attention to:
Koch spokesman Jim Gilliland told The Post that Koch Foods risked violating federal law that bans discrimination on the basis of national origin for requesting documents beyond what an applicant provides, if those materials appear authentic.
I can tell you with 100% certainty that what Mr. Gilliland says there is absolutely accurate. There are two sets of laws in conflict with each-other; and you can be sued, and/or fined, by the United States Department of Labor and/or the U.S. DOJ Civil Rights Division for not hiring illegal aliens.
If you question the authenticity of any applicants identity; and that applicant is one of a legally protected category (think “ethnicity” or “origin”); and the employers authenticity challenge results in a “disparate impact” of non-eligibility for employment – as determined by ethnicity (Latino); then you are in violation of U.S. labor laws. This happens regardless of it being unlawful to hire illegal aliens.
If you challenge the presented documents, and all the outcomes of those challenges result in non-eligibility of Hispanics as a greater percentage than non-Hispanics, you are violating employment law under the DOJ (Civil Rights Division) definition of “disparate impact.” In this example, and it is common (believe me), additional employment eligibility checks due to suspicions of false ID’s, is unlawful and legally risky.
It’s also completely stupid.