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New study says Swift raids improved worker pay, benefits

March 21, 2009
Salt Lake Tribune
3/19/2009

The aftermath of the 2006 immigration raid on the Swift & Co. meatpacking plant in Hyrum and its five sister plants gives the lie to the oft-repeated assertion that undocumented immigrants do the work no one else wants, a new study of the raids concludes.

The analysis by the Center for Immigration Studies, which describes itself as “animated by a pro-immigrant, low-immigration vision,” shows that within several months, the Swift plants targeted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement were back at full production with better pay and benefits than before the raids.

The study, authored by Jerry Kammer, a senior research fellow and former journalist who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2006, describes a dangerous and difficult industry that, in spite of high turnover, had come to depend on immigrants willing to work for low pay.

Indeed, the average wages of meatpackers in 2007 were 45 percent lower than in 1980, according to government data, the study says.

The story continues …..

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