Study shows wages rose after immigration raids
By Bridget Johnson
Posted: 03/18/09 11:59 PM [ET]
As the topic of immigration and workplace raids begins to heat up again in a new administration, a new study finds that wages and employment grew for legal workers after a series of 2006 raids.
The report, by Jerry Kammer of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), a think tank that advocates against amnesty for illegal immigrants but also against mass deportations of the same, looked at the aftermath of six immigration raids at Swift & Co. meat-packing plants in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas, Colorado and Utah. About 1,300 undocumented workers were arrested, and another 400 without authorization to work in the United States were detected around the same time through better company screening.
Several hundred of those arrested were charged with using fraudulent Social Security numbers.
The study estimates that about 23 percent of the plants' employees were not authorized to work in the U.S, taking into account that the raids only targeted the first shift of the day and that the CIS investigation revealed large numbers of workers did not show up for the later, post-raid shifts.
"There is good evidence that after the raids the number of native-born workers increased significantly," Kammer writes, noting that all of the plants were back to full production within five months. "But Swift would not provide information on how its workforce has changed. Swift also has recruited a large number of refugees who are legal immigrants.
"At the four facilities for which we were able to obtain information, wages and bonuses rose on average 8 percent with the departure of illegal immigrants."