By: Jennie Taer, Daily Caller News Foundation
Perdue Farms and Tyson Foods employed migrant child laborers released from federal custody working in dangerous conditions, according to The New York Times.
One of those children, Marcos Cux, a 14-year-old Guatemalan migrant, nearly lost his arm while working at a Perdue plant around Parksley, Virginia, in 2022 when his sleeve got caught on a conveyor belt that subsequently dragged him, according to the report. Emilio Ortiz, 14, came to the U.S. from Mexico and began work at a Perdue slaughterhouse, dealing with harsh chemicals that hurt his lungs, the NYT reported.
“It makes you cough all weekend, but then by Monday you’re OK again,” one of the children living in the area warned, according to the NYT.
Children made up one third of Perdue’s overnight cleaning crew when Marcos worked at the plant, according to the NYT. For a period of time, supervisors at the plant were knowingly letting workers leave their shifts to go to school.
Marcos was smuggled into the U.S. and moved in with a cousin after being released from the care of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), according to the NYT. He obtained work with the help of a middle school peer, who aided him in getting fraudulent documents that said he was a man in his 20s.
HHS, which enrolled Marcos in school, never came to do a home check on the migrant child and his sponsor, according to the NYT. The agency is tasked with vetting sponsors and ensuring safe conditions for migrant children released into the country.
Tyson and Perdue got word about the NYT report and began disseminating information about the journalist investigating the incidents, leading to the firing of Emilio and other children, who told the NYT they were out of jobs, according to the report. Migrant children have come to the U.S. alone and handed over to sponsors that allow them to work to send earnings back to their home countries.
Neither Tysons nor Perdue immediately responded to requests for comment. HHS also didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.