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More ICE Raids Mean More Ethical Chicken

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File

We have now entered a period of American history where a growing number of people no longer care about things like facts, laws, and truth. Inconvenient facts are now “micro-aggressions.” Laws that run contrary to one’s political agenda are “unjust.” People no longer tell “the truth,” but “his or her truth.” 


Against this backdrop, the immigration issue has become almost completely emotionalized. It matters not that laws are broken, national sovereignty is violated, and communities are endangered. If the child of an illegal alien somewhere is crying, the best interests of the country must be pushed aside. Anyone who has a problem with that is a heartless troglodyte.  

Those who hold these views no doubt fancy themselves as stalwarts of compassion, yet the hypocrisy is glaring. Take the recent actions by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in Mississippi, who arrested 680 illegal alien workers at seven food processing plants. Rather than address the ubiquitous contempt for our laws by both foreign nationals and their employers, the media instead focused solely on the idea that the children of aliens were scared and inconvenienced as a result. 

Absent from this debate has been any concern for the suffering created by the status quo. Mass migration advocates endlessly lecture us that it is cruel to deny illegal aliens the ability to work in places like the plants in Mississippi. The fact is that the illegal status of workers often allows employers to pay them substandard wages and subject them to grueling hours under possibly illegal conditions. 

Mega-corporations like Nike have been criticized for allegedly employing children and low-wage labor at “sweat shop” manufacturing facilities in Asia. How is using illegal alien labor in the United States any better? 


The situation here is actually more depraved on the social justice scale. It’s bad enough that illegal alien workers and their families here are exploited by employers. To continually hire alien workers only strengthens the magnet that causes more people to make the dangerous journey to our southern border. 

This in turn provides more customers for the sinister cartels to run their highly-profitable human trafficking operations into the U.S. Among the collateral victims are young children, who are subjected to kidnapping, rape and worse. They are reduced to little more than chattel in a grotesque machinery that causes untold human misery, enriches criminal enterprises and weakens our country in innumerable ways. Why again are we allowing this to continue for even another minute?

There is a growing movement called food justice which seeks to only consume foods that are ethically produced, including things like cage-free eggs and free-range chicken. In the name of moral consistency, why isn’t the same standard applied to foods made using illegal alien labor? 

Some make the case that American cravings for low-cost meat and dairy products are the driving force behind illegal alien labor at food processing plants, but have Americans ever really been presented with the facts of the situation to make a more informed decision? 

The true consequences of illegal immigration have been documented but grossly under-reported. They include but are not limited to: crime; overcrowded schools and emergency rooms; more competition for jobs, homes and college admissions; identity theft; drained local, state and federal funds; and environmental damage from runaway population growth. 


When presented with the truth, and without the filter of a shamelessly partisan anti-borders media, would Americans be willing to modify their food decisions if it meant a significant reduction of the aforementioned consequences of illegal immigration? 

In times of national crisis—World War II, 9/11, and Hurricane Katrina, to name a few—Americans have shown an admirable willingness to sacrifice for the greater good of the country and those in need. Given that impressive history, odds are that they would view slightly higher prices for beef and chicken as a worthy national and ethical duty.             

Brian Lonergan is director of communications at the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of illegal migration.

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