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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    PARADISE (San Diego)

    Bean Station ICE raid: Slaughterhouse owner sued for cheating immigrants on wages

    Bean Station ICE raid: Slaughterhouse owner sued for cheating immigrants on wages

    Matt Lakin, Knoxville News Sentinel
    Published 6:00 a.m. ET May 1, 2019 | Updated 4:51 p.m. ET May 1, 2019

    Alberto Librado shares his and his family's experiences after his I.C.E. detainment. Caitie McMekin / News Sentinel, Knoxville News Sentinel

    Hiring undocumented immigrants to work in his slaughterhouse saved James Brantley millions in wages and overtime - but now those bills could be coming due.

    The U.S. Department of Labor sued Brantley this week in federal court seeking back pay and lost overtime, plus interest, for 151 former workers employed at the Southeastern Provision meat-packing plant in Bean Station. Brantley hired mostly undocumented immigrants from Mexico and Guatemala for more than 20 years until April 2018, when agents of the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement serving a search warrant raided the plant and rounded up 97 workers.

    James Brantley is the owner of a Grainger County slaughterhouse, Southeastern Provision, that was targeted in a federal immigration raid. (Photo: Travis Dorman / USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennessee)

    Brantley faces sentencing in June after he pleaded guilty to tax evasion, wire fraud and employing unauthorized immigrants.

    The lawsuit comes after the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined him more than $40,000 for forcing those immigrants to work in dirty, dangerous conditions as they skinned hides, gutted carcasses and hosed away blood.

    Advocates for immigrants cheered the lawsuit.

    “Mr. Brantley is finally being held accountable after years of violating labor laws — failing to pay his employees what they had earned and failing to provide even the most basic safety protections,” said Stephanie Teatro, co-director of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition. “When employers and the government hold the threat of deportation above workers’ heads, they are less likely to report such violations. The administration should immediately end their practice of worksite raids which enable bad actors like Brantley to flagrantly defy labor laws.”

    Southeastern Provision, a cattle slaughterhouse in Bean Station, Tenn., was the target of a federal immigration raid that rounded up 97 people on April 5, 2018. (Photo: Travis Dorman / USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennessee)

    Brantley, workers await fates

    Whatever happens to Brantley, he'll get to stay in the U.S. There's no such guarantee for his former workers, most of whom wait to learn whether they'll be deported to their home countries.

    Seventy-three men and women, many with U.S.-born children, are fighting deportation. Most have lived in the U.S. for a decade or more, many with children born as U.S. citizens. Some could wait as long as 2021 for their cases to be heard. Thirteen have already been deported.

    Seven of the former workers, including one who held legal immigration status, have sued the ICE agents who arrested them, claiming they were punched, shoved and humiliated during the raid.

    Brantley paid the workers as little as $6 per hour and routinely forced crews to work shifts of 12 hours or more with no overtime pay, according to court records. He issued wages in cash and ducked more than $1.3 million in payroll taxes, not counting other unpaid state and federal fees. On tax returns, he claimed most of the workers didn't exist.

    The Labor Department's lawsuit doesn't specify how much Brantley could owe in back pay or fines. No hearing on that case has been set.


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  2. #2
    Moderator Beezer's Avatar
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    Apr 2016
    Sue him for ALL the costs to the local, state and federal taxpayers too!

    Their hospital bills, welfare, food stamps, WIC, school costs, crime, courts, jails, lawyers...ALL of it.

    Pay back the child care tax credits they should NOT be getting too!

    These employers are RIPPING off the American taxpayers with their illegal aliens coming here!!!



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