We at Cargill read with a sense of astonishment and disappointment the letter to the editor making sweeping statements and generalizations about the Latino population in general, and in Dodge City in particular. We felt compelled to respond and dispute the writer’s point of view on behalf of the diverse work force of 2,700 people who are employed at Cargill’s Dodge City beef production facility.
Any firm that pursues and knowingly hires people illegally in the United States should be dealt with under the law. Such hiring practices are unacceptable. When Cargill hires new employees, we put each applicant through numerous layers of eligibility screening. We also work closely with both the Social Security Administration and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency to ensure we utilize all of the tools available to ensure an applicant's eligibility.
Our employees receive health insurance, retirement savings and good wages. They contribute more than $100 million into the Dodge City area economy annually. Additionally, 45 percent of Cargill employees have been employed at our beef facility for more than five years. These are people who have become residents in the community and contribute through volunteerism, economic impact and through the type of cultural diversity that helped build this nation over the past 234 years.
To generalize and intimate that because there are Latinos in Dodge City the vast majority are in America illegally is wrong, and not in the spirit of the nation’s founders. We trust people in the Dodge City area recognize the many valuable contributions Cargill employees make throughout the community, and are not influenced by a myopic point of view, nor inaccurate and unsubstantiated claims.