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President Trump Is Unnecessarily Hurting Meat Packing Workers

04.30.2020

For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Kristianr@mifamiliavota.org

President Trump Is Unnecessarily Hurting Meat Packing Workers

If the Nation Needs the Critical Labor of Undocumented Workers
We Must Provide a Path to Legalization Immediately

 

Washington Post – President Trump recently signed an executive order compelling meat processors to remain open to head off shortages in the nation’s food supply chains, despite mounting reports of plant worker deaths due to COVID-19.

Hector Sanchez Barba CEO and Executive Director of Mi Familia Vota released the following statement: 

“The President’s inaction and ineptness in his CoronaVirus response has created a health crisis nightmare for all Americans. 44 percent of all meatpackers are Latino,  a disproportionate number of them are also immigrants. These communities are among the most uninsured populations in the country. This President has long demonized Latinos and immigrants, and now when our country is being sustained by the work of our community, by ordering these meatpacking plants open, he is placing them at further risk. The truth is many of these workers in the meatpacking industry serve our country with pride and distinction.

Our government must recognize their hard work with increased medical care, worker protections, fair wages, and for those who are undocumented a pathway to citizenship for their selfless dedication to our country. If the Defense Production Act is going to be used to force workers to appear under these circumstances, all executive orders threatening deportation or other removal actions against undocumented workers must be immediately suspended, and a process for legalization should be immediately implemented.”

Facts About Latinos And Meatpacking Industry

  • 44 percent of all meatpackers are Latino,  a disproportionate number of them are also immigrants. These communities are among the most uninsured populations in the country.

  • Recent reports have detailed cramped, unsanitary conditions for those working in meat and poultry facilities with little access to protective equipment to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Rates of coronavirus infection around the 150 largest meatpacking plants are higher than infection rates in 75 percent of other U.S. counties, a USA Today and Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting analysis found.

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Mi Familia Vota is a national civic engagement organization that unites Latino, immigrant, and allied communities to promote social and economic justice through citizenship workshops, voter registration, and voter participation. Mi Familia Vota has operations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and Texas.