ICE Raids Create Hundreds of Job Openings for American Workers in Mississippi
Local residents attend jobs fairs after illegal aliens caught working at Koch Foods plants
Following the hugely successful Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids on a chain of food processing plants in Mississippi earlier this month, hundreds of job vacancies have now become available to local American workers.
In Early August, ICE completed a series of raids across six cities in Mississippi, resulting in the arrest of 680 illegal aliens, making the operation the largest single-state bust in US history.
Federal officials confirmed they captured almost 700 illegal immigrants who had been working for a chain of seven Koch Foods' food processing plants.
Due to the high number of illegal workers found in the plants during the August 7 raids, the operation created a void in the workforce that now needs to be filled with local US citizens.
One August 12 job fair saw roughly 150 locals attended to apply for jobs at their local Koch Foods’ plants.
This fair was run after the ICE raids resulted in the removal of 243 alleged illegal immigrants from the two of the company’s nearby chicken processing plants, according to local authorities.
25 to 30 people a separate job fair in Forest, Mississippi, the local Jackson Clarion-Ledger newspaper reported.
The report said:
Kamerio Whitley, a resident of the nearby town of Morton, spoke to reporters after he left the building.
He said there were several positions available at the plant, including forklift operators.
Whitley said he applied for a job working at the plant’s rehang table, where workers hang frozen chickens.
The job starts at $12 an hour, which is decent pay for the area, Whitley said.
“That’s not bad to start, and it can always go up,” he said.
The company is also trying to hire workers with online ads. Local officials made sure the hiring process complied with federal hiring regulations, according to WAPT 16.
Koch Foods is not part of the Koch brothers’ network of energy companies.
“By 10 a.m., a crowd of dozens was on hand … Most were black and spoke with accents from the American South. A few appeared white or Hispanic,” AP reported.
The news service continued:
The 25-year-old [Eddie Nicholson] has worked in chicken plants before and was considering a return, but wanted to see if wages had gone up.
Plants in recent years have typically paid $11 to $12 an hour, according to labor statistics, but Nicholson said he wants $15 an hour.
Like Nicholson, many who applied Monday were chicken plant veterans.
They understand the arduous and sometimes dangerous work of slaughtering, butchering and packaging chicken, from hanging up live chickens, to pulling off skin, to cutting with super-sharp knives, to boxing up chicken, much of it done in near-freezing temperatures.
The line moves fast and people repeat the same motions over and over.
“It’s definitely hard,” said Cedric Griffith of Magee, who said he’s been working at McDonald’s after getting fired from another chicken processor for missing too many days.
“You’re going to lose of lot of weight. Nine times out of 10, when that week is over, you’re tired.”
According to Breitbart, the area’s unemployment is high, and the wages are low.
From 2000 to 2009, the labor-force participation rate in Mississippi dropped by 9 percent, according to an August 8 report from Krikorian’s CIS.
The drop from 78 percent to 69 percent leaves 494,000 U.S.-born adults out of the workforce in 2019, said the report, titled “The Employment Situation of Immigrants and Natives in the First Quarter of 2019.”
Federal data from 2018 shows that half of the meat cutters in the state were being paid less than $12.23 per hour.
But wages have spiked upwards for Americans when employers were forced to give up their illegal workforces.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (#ICE) has completed a hugely successful series of raids across six cities in #Mississippi, resulting in the arrest of 680 #IllegalAliens, making the operation the largest single-state bust in US history.— Neon Nettle (@NeonNettle) August 8, 2019
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Also, the processing firms have been under pressure to raise wages in President Donald Trump’s go-go economy.
In May, for example, Sanderson Farms offered $15 an hour wage to workers after June 2.
“Sanderson Farms has about 15,000 workers in Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Texas. About 13,000 [earn] hourly wages,” AP reported.
But MSNBC’s correspondent Marian Atencio suggested that only Latinos can do the slaughterhouse jobs, saying:
“This is pretty grueling work at these poultry plants and … poultry is an industry that has become — as many of these industries that rely on low skilled workers — dependent on Latin American immigration.”