The US has a long history of supporting brutal thugs. overthrowing legitimately elected leaders and wondering why people flee.
The article below, while lengthy, is worth reading in its entirety and sharing.
Thousands of Mayans had been living in Indiantown after fleeing a campaign of violence carried out by the Guatemalan military. More than 200,000 people, most of them Mayan, were killed or forcibly disappeared in the conflict. A report commissioned by the United Nations described instances of soldiers beating children “against walls or throwing them alive into pits,” and covering people “in petrol and burning them alive.” In 1981, in a village of Aguacatán, where many Case Farms workers come from, soldiers rounded up and shot 22 men. They then split their skulls and ate their brains, dumping the bodies into a ravine.
Through the years, the United States had supported Guatemala’s dictators with money, weapons, intelligence and training. Amid the worst of the violence, President Reagan, after meeting with General Efraín Ríos Montt, told the press that he believed the regime had “been getting a bum rap.” The administration viewed the Guatemalan refugees as economic migrants and communist sympathizers — threats to national security. Only a handful received asylum. The Mayans who made it to Florida had limited options.
Beecher arrived at the church in time for Sunday Mass, and set himself up in its office. He had no trouble recruiting parishioners to return with him to the Case Farms plant in Morganton, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Those first Guatemalans worked so hard, Beecher told the labor historian Leon Fink in his book, “The Maya of Morganton,” that supervisors kept asking for more, prompting a return trip. Soon vans were running regularly between Indiantown and Morganton, bringing in new recruits. “I didn’t want [Mexicans],” Beecher, who died in 2014, told Fink. “Mexicans will go back home at Christmastime. You’re going to lose them for six weeks. And in the poultry business you can’t afford that. You just can’t do it. But Guatemalans can’t go back home. They’re here as political refugees. If they go back home, they get shot.” Shelton approved hiring the immigrants, Beecher said, and when the plant was fully staffed and production had doubled “he was tickled to death.”
The Labor Department, in addition to finding numerous safety violations, fined Cal-Clean, Case Farms’ sanitation contractor, $63,000 for employing four child laborers, including Osiel. The fines and the citationsagainst Case Farms have continued to accumulate. Last September, OSHA determined that the company’s line speeds and work flow were so hazardous to workers’ hands and arms that it should “investigate and change immediately” nearly all the positions on the line. As the company fights the fines, it finds new ways to keep labor costs down. For a time, after the Guatemalan workers began to organize, Case Farms recruited Burmese refugees. Then it turned to ethnic Nepalis expelled from Bhutan, who today make up nearly 35 percent of the company’s employees in Ohio. “It’s an industry that targets the most vulnerable group of workers and brings them in,” Debbie Berkowitz, OSHA’s former senior policy adviser, told me. “And when one group gets too powerful and stands up for their rights they figure out who’s even more vulnerable and move them in.”
Centro San Jose, a social welfare agency and legal clinic in Canton, Ohio, has been swamped the past few years as hundreds of unaccompanied minors have come to the area, fleeing violence in Guatemala. (photo: Hector Emanuel/ProPublica)
Sold for Parts: How One of the US's Most Dangerous Companies Used Immigration Law Against Immigrant Workers Hurt on the Job
Michael Grabell, ProPublica
Grabell writes: "One of the most dangerous companies in the U.S. took advantage of immigrant workers. Then, when they got hurt or fought back, it used America's laws against them."