Written by John Merline
Remember when Democrats reflexively accused President Donald Trump of being a racist when he said illegal immigrants steal American jobs? Turns out, he was right, as evidenced by the aftermath of the massive summer raid that rounded up hundreds of illegals working at chicken processing plants in Mississippi.
In early August, some 600 Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents surrounded seven plants operated by five companies in six different cities. They rounded up 680 “undocumented” immigrants, in what was described as the largest raid in a single state.
This is part of a larger effort by Trump to target companies that knowingly hire illegal immigrants. Last year, it raided a landscaping company near Toledo, Ohio, and a meatpacking plant in eastern Tennessee. A Government Accountability Office report issued in early December found that arrests, detentions, and removals were all up in Trump’s first two years in office compared with Obama’s last two.
Nevertheless, the reaction to the Mississippi raid from Democrats was swift and furious. Joe Biden said the raid was a sign that “Trump is morally unfit to lead this country.” Sen. Bernie Sanders called it “evil.” Beto O’Rourke – who dropped out of the race two months after the raid – said Trump’s “cruelty knows no bounds.” The media, naturally, lent Democrats a hand by playing up the disruption and crying children, while playing down the fact that those workers were in the country illegally.
In fact, the raid was the furthest thing from cruel or evil or immoral to American citizens living in the area – many of them black people – who flocked to get the jobs those illegals had held.
This week, the New York Times, to its credit, went to Morton, Mississippi – where a third of the illegals rounded up in those raids had worked – to see what’s become of the town months after Trump’s “evil” act.
And in a shocking display of honest reporting, the Times shows how American workers – particularly black people – benefited as a result.
The Times notes that before the raid, managers had been recruiting Hispanic workers “by the thousands” to work in those chicken plants because they were “cheaper and more exploitable.”
The Times story focuses on Juan Grant, a young black man two years out of high school who landed a job at the plant and boosted his wage by $4 an hour. He “strode into the Koch Foods chicken processing plant for his new job on a Wednesday morning, joining many other African Americans in a procession of rubber boots, hairnets, and last cigarettes before the grinds.”
It quotes Cortez McClinton, who got a job at the plant after the raids, which he said, “gave the American people their jobs back.”
The Times goes on to say that, despite the experience in Morton, “the belief that native-born Americans are not sufficiently motivated to work persists.”
To be sure, the Times sheds plenty of crocodile tears for the poor illegal immigrants affected by the raid, and it tries mightily to get the newly employed Americans to wring their hands about “stealing” those jobs.
But the inescapable conclusion is that the chicken companies had been exploiting cheap illegal immigrant labor to do jobs that Americans are clearly willing to take, if they have the chance.
Yet here we have the country’s leading Democrats – who constantly bleat about being on the side of the little guy and the downtrodden – siding with greedy companies that were exploiting illegal immigrants to fatten their bottom lines, and were doing so at the expense of low-income black people in the area who were shut out of those jobs.
Tell us again which is the party of compassion?