Poultry processor fires illegal immigrants
Pilgrim's Pride, a Fortune 500 company processing 44 million
birds a week, has recently confirmed that it has terminated employees at its
plants in Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas. The number and the reasons have not been
Advocates for the workers, however, estimate that the company has already
fired more than 100 people who can't produce valid Social Security
"Large layoffs is what I'm hearing," said Linda Morales, a Stephen F.
Austin State University professor in Nacogdoches who assists migrant families.
"It wasn't Pilgrim's that decided to do this. I think it was some kind of
warning they got ... about hiring people who don't have documentation."
Experts say the firings come ahead of federal authorities about to embark
on a major worksite crackdown.
It is feared that the Department of Homeland Security will soon finalise a
regulation that "puts more teeth" in the employer sanction law. This could lead
to fines of up to $10,000 per employee, against companies that knowingly hire
"There are a lot of employees in Texas, some say 1.2 - 1.5 million, who are
undocumented workers," said Bill Hammond, president of the Texas Association of
Business. "A lot of them could be out of the workforce over the next six to 12
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