As a minimum 50 younger of us discovered cleansing Midwest slaughterhouses


A little before midnight and Grand Island Nebraska dozens of workers file into one of several slaughterhouses across the Midwest and tonight officials from the Department of Homeland Security tell NBC news federal investigators are looking into whether 50 children who were illegally employed by Packers sanitation.

Services or pssi some as young as 13 were victims of human trafficking in August the Department of Labor opened an investigation into pssi scouring company records from 50 locations so far they say at least 50 children were found to be working graveyard shifts for pssi and at least five locations including the Grand Island plant and a second JBS.

Foods plant in Worthington Minnesota Audrey Lutz has been helping migrant children who say they worked at the Grand Island plant it was the hardest phone call of my career to receive that there were children and young children you know 13 and 14 working out at the meat packing plant and on the cleaning crew and court.

Filings the company did not deny hiring children but attributed it to Rogue individuals who present fake identification you met them do they look like adults to you I would have a hard time ever calling the people I'd met with adults they certainly look especially the the youngest middle schoolers.

Um no way to pass as an adult pssi 17 000 employees clean the largest meat processing pl ants in America for household brands at 700 sites across the country former employees we spoke to said it's a dangerous working environment but be prepared to undergo extreme temperature changes from hot to cold withstand witness and humidity and.

Work around chemicals loot says she thinks the children may have been part of a trafficking scheme that led them to work at a slaughterhouse in her town of just over 50 000 people there's too many coincidences with these children to think that this wasn't some kind of plot entertained by a trafficker a coyote a Smuggler or potentially even somebody.

Who worked for pssi a spokeswoman for pssi says investigators from Homeland Security investigations have not not contacted the company and said in a statement we have always taken rigorous steps to comply with the law including use of the government's e-verify system for new hires extensive training for all hiring managers multiple Audits and use.

Of Biometrics so far no penalties or fines have been imposed but Lutz is calling for accountability they are responsible for hiring minors and noticeable minors in facilities across the country and they need to pay that price either financially or criminally all right Julia Ainsley joins us now from our Washington DC Bureau Julia you.

Have reporting I know that DHS is also looking into whether the children were possibly victims of human trafficking that's right and DHS investigators have said that they've so far found no indications that the company pssi actually would have been part of a trafficking scheme so far but they are looking at who may have profited off of.

This who might have supplied them with fraudulent documents or have given them housing as part of what could be a human trafficking scheme so some of the kids you mentioned were as young as 13 how did authorities figure out that there were children possibly working at these plants well it actually goes back to 2016.

There was a police report from that time where teachers were reporting a young girl who was in class with Burns and they're also because of the chemicals that they were using to clean and she was found it was found to be overnight from her pssi job this is back in 2016 at the time local police investigated her parents the pssi was never a.

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