The sight of *BREAKING NEWS* has no power over me. It has been overused. There is only so much a person can process. Important reports are overlooked, often by design, when news is timed to distract from something the administration wants us to miss.
The double mass-shootings on August 3, 2019, woke the press who finally confronted 45, for inspiring terrorist attacks, targeting non-white communities with his hateful rhetoric. Words matter.
You may have overlooked the following story, due to the daily bombardment of news:
On Wednesday, August 7, 2019, four days after the shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that killed 31 and injured 51, the biggest ICE raid in over a decade took place in seven Koch food processing plants in Mississippi.
Taxpayers funded this: ICE officers were brought in and housed the night before what was the first day of school for many districts in Mississippi. Six hundred eighty workers at Koch Foods poultry plants in Mississippi were taken into custody.
The school day ended in confusion for the children whose parents were in custody.
They were left in school parking lots not knowing what had happened. Those not claimed by family were taken to community centers to spend the night. Many of these families have not been reunited.
Elizabeth Iraheta, a Koch Foods plant employee, told the press:
“I’ve been working on that plant for 19 years; They are not looking for criminals. They’re looking at work sites for people who came to this country to work, who came to fight for their family.”
Those arrested were workers who paid taxes. What has happened to them since the raid? Approximately 300 of those arrested were released within 24 hours, with assigned court dates, the remaining 380 people, sent to detention facilities in southwestern Mississippi and Louisiana.
Now some good news for anyone who feels they’ve been put out of work by immigrants. The Koch chicken processing plants in Mississippi are looking for de-boners. If you’d like to earn $10.80 hr working in a 24 hour a day, six days a week facility kept at a temperature under 50 degrees, with floors slick from animal fat, this is your chance— only those with six months experience need apply.
One more thing about that job, you might be subjected to exploitation and/or abuse. Specifically, according to charges filed by the EEOC, supervisors—“touched and/or made sexually suggestive comments to female Hispanic employees, hit Hispanic employees, and charged many of them money for normal everyday work activities.”
Koch Foods was the subject of a lawsuit by plant employees for racial discrimination, national origin discrimination, and sexual harassment against its Hispanic workers. It was settled out of court for $3.75 million. Many suspect this raid, the largest in a decade, may have been retaliatory.
Two other plants, one in Salem, Ohio, and another in Morristown, Tennessee, were also raided following complaints by workers.
It seems these ICE raids meant to discourage workers from reporting abuse or unsafe conditions. The desired result for employers like Koch Foods would be to continue to exploit migrant workers without accountability. Since the raids, Koch has fired over 100 employees.
The cruelty of these raids, to children, enacted by this administration can be added to a long list of human rights violations they will be held accountable for eventually.
I’ll take this opportunity to remind you the racist in Chief has used the H2B visa program for decades, to import workers from places like Mexico, and South America, to avoid paying Americans a minimum wage. He also has employed immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally.