The Jungle 2.0: Unauthorized Immigrants in the Meatpacking Industry

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If there’s one thing PETA forgot, it’s that animals are not the only ones suffering from the meatpacking industry. Undocumented immigrants are also victims to the dangerous conditions of slaughterhouses and the risk of deportation.

Undocumented immigrants, mostly from Mexico and El Salvador, make up the majority of workers in these factories and are subject to one of the most dangerous jobs across the globe. (SPLC) Workers face unbelievable conditions such as toxic fumes, heavy materials, and large machinery. There are accounts of extremely serious injuries including respiratory infections and dismembered limbs. People have even died in their work, leaving behind devastated families and an incomplete American Dream. (Mother Jones)

The reason why slaughterhouse work seems so appealing to immigrants is because it doesn’t require employees to speak English. Despite the risks, many immigrants take these jobs out of desperation to provide for themselves and their families. Corporations are actually eager to employ undocumented individuals because then they can offer lower wages and get away with breaking a myriad of health and safety codes. All of this takes place in huge warehouses without windows and without a second glance. Immigrants put their lives on the line in order for corporations to put meat on the shelves, forgotten in the process and maybe even before. (LA Times)

On top of all this, slaughterhouses are always subject to inspections for undocumented employees. When undocumented immigrants are found, they are at immediate risk of deportation. Even though the employment of such individuals is illegal, corporations are only charged a fee that they can easily pay off and nothing more. (Food and Politics Class)

So here’s some food for thought. If undocumented immigrants are risking their lives for ridiculously low wages, are they really undeserving of the benefits of citizenship? Is it not completely immoral to deport these workers just for trying to make a living while corporations get off scot-free?

2 responses to “The Jungle 2.0: Unauthorized Immigrants in the Meatpacking Industry

  1. very informative and well written! you brought up very interesting points. it’s really tragic that organizations such as PETA freak out about animals being treated horribly in the meat-packing industry while there are people being treated inhumanely and are losing their lives. and i feel as though because of their undocumented status, they even have less voice than the animals that PETA tries to defend.

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