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Trump just showed everyone that he doesn’t give a damn about American workers

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Sarah Okeson
Sarah Okeson

Trump and Radical Republicans like South Dakota Sen. Mike Rounds think the lives of the immigrants who work in meatpacking plants are worth less than the lives of pigs in a slaughterhouse.

Rounds, who asked Trump to intervene to keep meatpacking plants open, cited farmers killing pigs rather than sending them to meat processing plants, to justify sending immigrants and other meatpacking workers back to their jobs—where many will get sick and some will die.

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“They will be euthanizing – killing – over a million head of hogs a month, very, very shortly, beginning here in the next one to two weeks,” Rounds, who was previously governor of South Dakota, said Sunday. “There’s no way we can stop that until we start opening up these production facilities again.”

As recently as 2015, almost 30% of meat and poultry workers in our country weren’t citizens, according to a GAO report.  Companies like Smithfield Foods and Tyson were hiring more immigrants and undocumented workers because they were less likely to unionize. A Smithfield slaughterhouse in Tar Heel, N.C., took 15 years to unionize.

“Hispanic people are sort of modern slaves of this country,” said poultry worker Carlos Ramos.

More than 5,000 meat and food-processing workers have been infected with or exposed to coronavirus. At least 20 have died.

“I lost him because of that horrible place,” said Angelita Rodriguez, whose husband, Augustin, a Smithfield employee in Sioux Falls, S.D., died after about two weeks on a ventilator.

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More than 1,000 people have fallen sick from exposure tied to the Smithfield plant in Sioux Falls. A company spokeswoman blamed the size of the outbreak on immigrant employees with “living circumstances in certain cultures.”

ICE has repeatedly raided meatpacking plants after worker complaints. About 680 employees were arrested at seven poultry plants in Morton, Miss. in August 2019, the biggest workplace immigration raid ever in a single state.

Koch Foods owns the largest plant in Morton which employs more than 1,000 people. In 2018, Koch Foods paid $3.75 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination.

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A Smithfield employee sued the company in federal court over working conditions at its plant in Milan, Mo.–including bonus payments that encourage employees to come In sick and not giving employees enough time to wash their hands. She asked that the plant be declared a public nuisance.

Smithfield asked federal Judge Greg Kays to dismiss the lawsuit, saying the issues created by the pandemic are “outside the conventional experience of judges.”

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Today’s judges have not lived through plagues, but Kays and other judges like him who Trump will try to use to kill off immigrant workers in our country for the profit of meatpacking titans might look to how early Christians responded to plagues.

During the Plague of Cyprian in the mid-200s in Rome, agricultural production collapsed as farmers died, and people fled to the cities. Christians “heedless of danger … took charge of the sick, attending to their every need.”

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Ex-cops indicted in fatal shooting of Black woman and ‘public torture’ of Black man in separate incidents

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Two former Mississippi police officers were indicted in the brutal beating of a Black motorist, and one of them was also charged in an unrelated fatal shooting.

Wade Robertson, 28, and Bryce Gilbert, 27, were charged with aggravated assault in the 2018 beating of James Barnett, and Robertson was also charged with manslaughter in the 2019 shooting death of Dominique Henry, reported The Laurel Leader-Call.

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2020 Election

Andrea Mitchell knocks Biden for virtual convention speech: ‘How much does that damage the campaign?’

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MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell suggested to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Wednesday that presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden could "damage" his campaign by holding a virtual convention speech.

Mitchell made the remark after President Donald Trump said that he was considering holding his convention speech at the White House.

"Joe Biden is not going to Milwaukee," Mitchell told Pelosi. "How much does this damage the campaign?"

Pelosi disagreed by insisting that Democrats will hold a "great convention."

Mitchell then asked about Trump's plan to hold his convention speech at the White House.

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2020 Election

Trump’s psychiatric disturbance could destroy democracy if he wins a second term: clinical psychologist

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I’m not being hyperbolic or melodramatic when I say that democracy itself is on the line on November 3. Donald Trump has been on a mission to subvert our democracy and to push it toward an autocracy. No president has ever disavowed democracy like Trump. No president has ever wanted to change our democratic way of life like Trump.

Trump has shown little interest or intent in following our Constitution. He is not abiding by the emoluments clause. He breaks norms and rules at will. He does not recognize that the three branches of government are co-equal. He operates as if the executive branch has total power. Our democracy is not based on the executive branch having absolute power. It requires that the three branches have separate powers in a check-and-balances system. Trump impugns democracy because it limits his power and requires him to be held accountable.

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