POSTVILLE, Iowa — When federal immigration agents raided the kosher meatpacking plant here in May and rounded up 389 illegal immigrants, they found more than 20 under-age workers, some as young as 13.
16 year olds working 17 hour shifts do not have time to join gangs. You suppose that was the motivation of the management of this plant? Keep the streets safe from Hispanic gangs? Or maybe the management liked the feeling of having slaves?
One, a Guatemalan named Elmer L. who said he was 16 when he started working on the plant’s killing floors, said he worked 17-hour shifts, six days a week. In an affidavit, he said he was constantly tired and did not have time to do anything but work and sleep. “I was very sad,” he said, “and I felt like I was a slave.”
Federal prosecutors might bring charges of violations of labor laws.
While federal prosecutors are primarily focusing on immigration charges, they may also be looking into labor violations. Search warrant documents filed in court before the raid, which was May 12, cited a report by an anonymous immigrant who was sent to work in the plant by immigration authorities as an undercover informant. The immigrant saw “a rabbi who was calling employees derogatory names and throwing meat at employees.” Jewish managers oversee the slaughtering and processing of meat at Agriprocessors to ensure kosher standards.
So why do the bad rabbis throw meat at the poor, young, low-skilled illegal aliens? The rabbis belong to the clannish separatist Lubavitcher sect who run the slaughterhouse. They look down upon those who are not chosen by God. So the locals of Postville get replaced from jobs by cheaper foreigners and the Lubavitchers look down on both local whites and Central Americans.
Immigration law enforcement actions and new state laws against illegal aliens are provoking the creation of more organized opposition by the cheap labor lobby. Cheap imported labor really amounts to privatized profits and socialized costs. But that ethical consideration doesn't seem to restrain those who want those privatized profits. Cheap labor business interests are organizing and funding an attack against immigration restriction.
Under pressure from the toughest crackdown on illegal immigration in two decades, employers across the country are fighting back in state legislatures, the federal courts and city halls.
The businesses are basically fighting back against a Republican base that supports tougher immigration law enforcement. Will the businesses use their money to buy influence and neutralize the immigration restrictionists?
Though the pushback is coming from both Democrats and Republicans, in many places it is reopening the rift over immigration that troubled the Republican Party last year. Businesses, generally Republican stalwarts, are standing up to others within the party who accuse them of undercutting border enforcement and jeopardizing American jobs by hiring illegal immigrants as cheap labor.
Tamar Jacoby is leading a new national organization that represents the interests of the cheap labor lobby. If we can manage to cut down the supply of cheap foreign labor then machines can replace the laborers if the labor supply becomes restricted enough.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2008 July 27 03:44 PM Immigration Labor Market|