Legal workers sue Swift for favoring illegal workers- and a few other thoughts

20 12 2006

Cross Posted by Leaning Straight Up

The country is still buzzing about the ICE raids of several swift meat packing plants that netted 1200 suspected illegals.  Read about it here.

Well in an interesting twist, the companies claims that it did not deliberately hire illegals is being challenged by former workers who claim Swift not only knew, but favored the illegal workers in a deliberate attempt to lower wage costs.

Legal Immigrants Accuse Company of Favoring Illegals to Depress Wages

Eighteen former employees who worked at Swift & Co. have filed a $23 million lawsuit alleging that the meat packing company conspired to manipulate and depress the labor market and wages by hiring illegal immigrants. Earlier this week federal immigration officers raided six Swift production facilities in six states, arresting nearly 1,300 people in what is believed to be the nation’s largest-ever workplace raid on illegal workers.

“These plaintiffs are legal residents and victims in a longstanding scheme by Swift to depress and artificially lower the wages of all its workers by knowingly hiring illegal workers,” says Angel Reyes, of Dallas’ Heygood, Orr, Reyes & Bartolomei, attorney for the plaintiffs. “By lessening its labor costs and increasing its profits, Swift has severely damaged the potential earnings and livelihood of these hard-working men and women. This litigation seeks to redress those wrongs.”

Each of the plaintiffs were employed at the Swift facility in Cactus, Texas, located north of Amarillo. A total of 295 people were arrested on immigration violations or other criminal charges in a raid of the Cactus facility on Tuesday, Dec. 12.

According to the lawsuit, Swift executives “actively sought to locate these illegal immigrants and hire them — knowing full well that it was in violation of the immigration laws of the United States to do so.” The lawsuit also accuses the company of transporting, smuggling, harboring and concealing illegal immigrants.

If true it would prove what many have long since believed, that some employers deliberately take advantage of the lax enforcement of illegal workers to make profits.

One thing is clear, it is proof that there are workers willing to do these jobs, other claims not withstanding.

The ugly truth is that the immigration problem will never go away until the employers who hire them are punished.  These workers were involved in identity fraud, and Social Security Fraud.  Those are supposed to be crimes, on top of the crime of being in the country illegally.  Let’s start making laws that have some consequence.

I had a conversation with a friend in Texas who also happens to be of Hispanic descent.  They had some interesting thoughts from a perspective I can only pretend to understand.  This is what they said (name withheld):

I live along the Texas-Mexico border.  I have first hand knowledge of the danger that we face by our unprotected borders.  Kidnappings run rampant here.  Law-abiding people have been kidnapped for large ransoms….all for the benefit of the drug kingpins that reside in Mexico. 

If you have ever seen the movie “Munich”…you will know that ridding the world of one thug only provides an opportunity for a meaner thug to control the drug trade along the border.  The problem lies in the supply and demand.  American citizens are the largest consumers of illicit drugs and it has gotten out of hand. 

We need another approach to stem the flow of drugs into the USA. There is corruption in every country.  Most wheeling and dealing occurs without our knowledge.  It is sad.  Do you know what scares me? The fact that terrorists are entering Mexico, learning to speak Spanish, changing there names to Hispanic names, and acquiring visas to enter the USA. 

The problem is that they have the same facial features as we do.  We, the Hispanics. Furthermore, all the ranting and raving that was going on at the federal level about securing our borders was a joke. 

It was in August of this year that the government did away with the catch and release program for those illegal aliens classified as OTM’s…(other than Mexicans).   Thousands of people from other nations, even people from questionable nations, were entering the USA illegally, were processed, (which took like 3 hours per person), and released into the community with orders to show up for a court hearing in a year.  How scary is that? 

I am more afraid of the OTMs than I am of the illegal Mexicans. I have relatives that are US Customs agents and border patrol agents. I have property by the Rio Grande River.  There have been many shoot-outs between the people from the Mexican side of the border and our federal agents.  Stories that don’t make it on the national news.  We live with it everyday. 

Recently, there was a case along the border that ICE agents received harsh punishments, (long prison sentences) for their involvement in trying to prevent drug smugglers from crossing drugs into the US.  What a shame.  Our ICe agents are busting their butts out in the fields. My nephew, a border patrol agent, works a 60hour week before he can get overtime.  Also, he has to account for every bullet he has been issued.  If he is in pursuit of drug smugglers or illegal aliens, and wrecks the company vehicle, he has to pay for the damages to the vehicle.  Something is just not right with this picture.We need to stand up and be heard.  Fight for our men and women that are risking their lives for us.  We can make a difference. 


It certainly offers some food for thought.  Living in Washington we are not immune from the effects of illegal immigration, but our involvement is nothing compared to those who deal with it in their face.

Just something to think about.


This was a production of The
Coalition Against Illegal Immigration (CAII).

If you would like to
participate, please go to the above link to learn more. Afterwards, email the coalition…. brianbonner90-at-gmail-dot-com……and let
me know at what level you would like to participate.




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