A report by the Center for Immigration Studies has examined the impact of the 2006 raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agencies of six meatpacking plants owned by Swift & Co and noted an improvement in the legal workers’ situation in the aftermath.
The report, entitled The 2006 Swift Raids: Assessing the Impact of Immigration Enforcement Actions at Six Facilities, says meatpacking workers’ wages, adjusted for inflation, fell by 45 percent between 1980 and 2007. In addition to that, some 23 percent of Swift’s workers were illegal immigrants.
Jerry Kammer, a senior research fellow at CIS and author of the report, writes that all six facilities resumed production on the same day as the raids and returned to full production within five months, an indication the plants could operate at full capacity without the presence of illegal workers.
A crucial finding, however, suggests that after the raids the number of native-born workers increased significantly, and at the four facilities for which the researchers were able to obtain information, wages and bonuses rose 8 percent on average with the departure of illegal immigrants.
The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent research organization that examines the impact of immigration on the U.S.