By Neil Munro
The Tennesee meatpacker which allegedly hired almost 100 illegals also ensured that 160 additional children could be enrolled in local schools, according to a count conducted by a pro-migration group.
The huge number of foreign children who were brought into Hamblen County lifts a curtain on hidden costs which rogue employers and illegals impose on American communities.
The costs divert scarce resources from the children of poor Americans to the children of illegal immigrants — even as the wages paid to American parents are forced down by competition from the cheap-labor illegal migrants. In turn, most of the economic benefits of this illegal workforce — such higher company profits, more status for more teachers — flows to university-educated Americans.
According to Bloomberg:
The immediate impact of the raid was to leave 160 children without a parent, said Stephanie Teatro, co-executive director of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition. School officials said it caused such fear in the community that 500 children stayed home from school after the raid.
The activists’ admission came after a May 8 speech by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who rebuked business executives for hiring wage-reducing illegals. According to Bloomberg, Sessions said:
You don’t get to get an advantage in this country by having large numbers of illegal workers working for you … I’m not shedding tears about them. You don’t get to benefit from being in this country and looking around the world for the cheapest worker you can find. That’s just not good policy for this country.
The 97 illegals were caught during an April 5 inspection of the Southeastern Provision slaughterhouse in nearby Bean Station. Of the 97 people, ten were arrested on federal charges and one was arrested on state charges. Fifty-four were detained, likely for deportation, and 32 were released, some of whom will be deported later. The illegals are being championed by the Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition, which has received money from the billionaire investor, George Soros.
The schools’ estimate of 500 added students is roughly 1o percent of Hamblen County’s elementary school population of 5,000 students, which is 5 percent of the full roster of 10,000 K-12 students.
The budget for the school system is $85 million for the 2017-2018 year or roughly $1,370 for every person in the county’s population of 62,000.
If illegal immigrants have added just 500 children to the local school system, they are adding roughly $4 million in extra education costs for taxpayers in Hamblen County. The county’s education programs are funded by $12.4 million in local property taxes, $13.2 million in sales taxes, and $52 million in state payments.
That means the employers of illegal immigrants are imposing a hidden education-tax charge of $50 to $100 on the average household in the community, or a hidden charge of roughly $300 for each family of four in a county where the average household income is just $37,000.
That property taxes and sales taxes are taken from Americans by county tax-collectors, then routed through the city’s education system before being given to the illegal-immigrants parents as non-cash benefits in exchange for their unpleasant, hard, and hidden labor on behalf of company owners.
That non-cash benefit is huge. For example, one illegal worker at the meatpacker said she was paid $300 at the meatpacker, or $15,000 per year. But if the job allowed her to enroll one elementary-school child in the local school system, she was getting educational benefits for her child worth up to 50 percent of her wages.
Overall, if just 100 of the 160 additional children were added to the local school system by the meatpacker’s use of illegals, the illegal-employment cost the school system roughly $600,000 in extra costs per year, assuming an extra per-child cost of $6,000.
The meatpacker was “privatizing the [economic] benefits of employing these people at low wages, but socializing the costs,” said Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies.
Local elected officials have a duty to their constituents, he said, adding:
Americans in these towns have every right to expect their representative to look out for their interests. This does not mean that the kids of illegal workers are somehow stigmatized or expelled, but government officials have an obligation to look after the interests of their constituents, not just as a practical obligation to get re-elected, but a moral obligation.
Federal officials say they raided the meatpacker after getting a tip from a local bank. But it is also possible that county officials informally alerted federal agencies to the employer who was imposing huge costs on the school system, said Krikorian. He continued:
The charitable helping impulse is often exploited by employers to get communities and charities to help bear some of their labor costs. That is the kind of thing that policymakers need to be alert to … the point is making sure that those costs don’t grow and continue to harm your own constituents.
In Hamblen County, household income is just 40 percent of the $91,000 household income in Montgomery County, Md. Many Americans in Morristown work at local meatpacking plants.
Moreover, the quality of the Hamblen County school system is below the quality level in Montgomery County — and is not helped by the arrival of many foreign children who require a disproportionate share of resources.
For example, Latino students comprise half of the students at the district’s worst-performing school, Lincoln Heights Elementary School, but are only 14 percent of the students in Morristown West High School, which scores slightly above average for the state’s schools.
In the Lincoln Heights Elementary school, only 36 percent of whites, 17 percent of blacks, and 18 percent of Hispanics meet state averages for their subgroups, according to GreatSchools.org, which collects federal data about school performance.
In Hamblen, 45 percent of the 1,249 students who took one or more AP courses scored above 3 in at least one test. In Montgomery County, 52 percent of students who took multiple AP tests scored a 3 or higher in at least one test.
After the Bean Station raid, the taxpayer-funded teachers and staff of the city’s school system held a political rally to support the foreign children, as well as the American-born children of the illegals, according to CNN.
Jeffrey Perry, the local education superintendent, told the audience via a Spanish-language translator that the local government would not favor the county’s American-born children:
We would like to welcome you to Hillcrest Elementary School. Our message from the school division is a very simple one, and that is we care deeply about each child in our school system. We care about each child under our charge … We are here to help in any way that we can. We certainly wish you the best of luck.
Officials made guidance counselors available, he said, and did everything they could to make sure kids in the district felt safe.
More than 100 local educators gathered at a church on Saturday for a workshop on how to help students through the crisis.
At a session led by immigrant rights activists, the teachers became the students.
They used brightly colored markers to express their emotions on big sheets of white paper.
The day after the raid, more than 500 children were absent, Perry told Breitbart News. “It is not my responsibility to set [immigraton] policy … my job is to focus on working with students,” Perry said. “If those children are here, we educate them,” he said.
The job puts him in close contact with the children of illegal immigrants, he said. On one case, the U.S.-born 16-year-old daughter of deported illegal immigrants must choose whether to join her parents in Mexico or graduate from a U.S. school, he said. “For many of the school employees, it gets to be a very personal kind of thing,” he said.
One-quarter of the children in the school system are Latino, he said. Officials do not try to distinguish the Americans from those who have illegal-migrant parents, he said. In this large population, some children need to be taught English, some need special attention, even as many do well in academics, he said.
“A lot of the kids get in here, they work extra hard, they come to school every day and have proven to be pretty good members of our schools … We do spend some money on students who have language barriers or have special education needs, or students with physical needs,” he said.
“We’ve got more illegals than we can shake a stick at,” said Taylor Ward, the county commissioner for Ward 2.
Illegals come to the county from neighboring states, often to work on farms in adjacent agricultural counties with little oversight, Ward told Breitbart News. The migrants and their employers impose large costs on the Hamblen County residents who must pay the education, healthcare, and law-enforcement costs of illegal employment, he said.
County and city officials get little or no help from the state government, partly because the GOP is led by billionaires and Democrats welcome the migrants as future voters, he said. “We’re not going to get much done in the state with the guy we’ve got … [GOP Gov. Bill Haslam, so] we’ve got to get more help from Washington,” he said.
Federal officials have not yet charged the owner of the meatpacking plant with crimes. A Tennessee NPR station sympathetically reported:
Raymunda Lopez and her husband thought they’d found a safe haven when they moved to work here — after years of scraping by as migrant field workers. A job at the local slaughterhouse, Southeastern Provision, meant a steady paycheck.
“I’d cut the meat, take the skin off (the cows) and send it for packaging,” Lopez says.
Managers didn’t even ask for her last name, she says, much less a social security number. The job was hard and they often worked up to 12 hours a day. Every Friday they were handed $300 cash …
About a third of the nearly 100 people arrested that day were later released. Some because they had work permits or small children; others, like Lopez, who is diabetic, were asked to report to a judge soon. The remaining 54 are still in custody and have been transferred to immigration facilities out of state.
In September 2016, the prestigious National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine determined that each legal or illegal immigrant costs state and local taxpayers roughly $1,600 more per year than each immigrant generates in taxes. In total, the current annual net cost of first-generation immigrants — including the cost of hiring white-collar teachers to educate their U.S. or foreign children — adds up to $57.4 billion per year, all of which is paid by taxpayers.
The report also estimated that the extra supply of legal and illegal immigrant labor also imposes a 5.2 percent labor-competition tax on Americans’ salaries, most of which is transferred up to investors and managers.
The resident population of illegal immigrants is estimated to be 11 million, of which roughly 8 million are working in jobs.
Four million Americans turn 18 each year and begin looking for good jobs in the free market.
But the federal government inflates the supply of new labor by annually accepting roughly 1.1 million new legal immigrants, by providing work-permits to roughly 3 million resident foreigners, and by doing little to block the employment of roughly 8 million illegal immigrants.
The Washington-imposed economic policy of economic growth via mass-immigration shifts wealth from young people towards older people, it floods the market with foreign labor, spikes profits and Wall Street values by cutting salaries for manual and skilled labor offered by blue-collar and white-collar employees. It also drives up real estate prices, widens wealth-gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, hurts kids’ schools and college education, pushes Americans away from high-tech careers, and sidelines at least 5 million marginalized Americans and their families, including many who are now struggling with opioid addictions.