Thanks to the Trump administration’s immigration raids on poultry processing plants in Mississippi, some illegal aliens across the country appear to be abandoning their jobs out of fear.
On Thursday, an estimated 200 illegal alien workers at various food processing plants in Georgia reportedly abandoned their posts and fled in terror after a rumor began to spread that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials were en route for another raid.
Confirmation that the workers fled was provided, ironically enough, by Atlanta station WUVG, a Univision-owned TV station that delivers news in Spanish.
“The rumor on Thursday spread about 8 am and by 11 am hundreds left their posts, a worker told Xeyli Alfaro of [WUVG],” a translation of the station’s original report reads.
It’s unclear why the report isn’t available in English.
The station also confirmed that this was “the second similar incident that [occurred] in seven days in the area, after last week several [illegal aliens] did not show up at factories due to other unconfirmed [rumors].”
What’s not clear is whether the illegal alien employees eventually returned to their jobs, or whether they decided that the risk of capture and deportation wasn’t worth it.
Regardless, their fears turned out to be unfounded.
There was “no worksite enforcement action at chicken plants in Georgia today,” an ICE spokesperson confirmed with the Gainesville Times, which publishes its news in English.
The Gainesville Police Department also provided confirmation, writing on Facebook, “Rumors circulating around food processing plants and retailers are untrue.”
We are aware of rumors that have sparked public concern in our community. It is important to always be vigilant and rely…
Posted by Gainesville Police Department on Thursday, August 15, 2019
“I can confirm that we have not been aware of anything or participated in anything. We do understand that there are some rumors circulating on social media, and they appear to just be rumors,” GPD Sgt. Kevin Holbrook added in a statement to the Times.
Assuming the employees don’t return, these rumors could wind up being a big boon for unemployed American workers.
In the days immediately following the raids on seven poultry processing plants and the subsequent arrests of nearly 700 illegal alien workers in Mississippi last week, one of the companies responsible for managing employees at the plants held a job fair that reportedly attracted at least 150 applications from U.S. citizens.
@gabegutierrez NOT NEWS @ NBC: “Americans Apply for Jobs at Koch Foods After ICE Raid Roughly 150 locals attended an August 12 job fair to apply for jobs at the Koch Foods’ plants in Mississippi. The fair was run after the August 7 removal of 243 alleged illegal migrants ” pic.twitter.com/Ti2vy2SOVs
— John Day (@day1038) August 14, 2019
“Koch Foods, based near Chicago, held the job fair to recruit new workers at one of its Morton plants, after Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents on Wednesday arrested 243 workers suspected of working without legal authorization,” the Associated Press reported on Monday.
“By 10 a.m., a crowd of dozens was on hand, and steady stream of people came and went. Most were black and spoke with accents from the American South. A few appeared white or Hispanic.”
Data shows that illegal immigration is especially damaging to the black community. And according to data from the Economic Policy Institute, black unemployment in Georgia is, in fact, over double that of white unemployment, 6.5 percent to 2.7 percent.
Because of these factors, some have suggested that perhaps more rumors should be spread:
— 🚫TimePiercer⏳ (@Time_Piercer) August 16, 2019
Rumored #ICEraids at poultry plant in GA Thursday sent workers fleeing. What does that tell you?
— MJ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@realmajordan) August 17, 2019
— Robyn K. (@rossr122) August 17, 2019
While it’s not clear whether spreading rumors is illegal, it’s known without a shadow of a doubt that “immigrating” illegally into the United States is a violation of federal law. That being said, it’s not just rumors spurring fear among illegals. President Donald Trump’s rhetoric has helped as well.
“One Miami housekeeper is skipping work, turning off the lights at home, and closing the curtains. Like many others across the country, she’s terrified of planned raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents,” BuzzFeed News lamented in a report published last month, not too long after the president began warning of imminent nationwide ICE raids.
While the “nationwide” raids touted by the president never emerged, the ramifications of his warnings still remain.
“As the threat of immigration raids looms in South Florida, fields once filled with workers look empty. Weeds are popping up where crops once grew. And the number of ‘help wanted’ signs posted offering work are on the rise,” CNN added in its own report.
All of this bodes well for all Americans, particularly the unemployed.
“The Pew Research Center estimates that more than 7.5 million undocumented immigrants are in the U.S. labor force,” Ethics and Public Policy Center senior fellow Henry Olsen noted in a column this week. “Assuming their unemployment rate is roughly equal to the 3.7 percent national average, that means more than 7 million jobs are held by undocumented workers.”
“That can’t help but depress wages and opportunities for native-born American. As the Mississippi figures show, those victims of illegal immigration are often exactly the poor people of color whose continued poverty is a national tragedy.”
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