Authorities are investigating the incident to rule out possible crimes such as human trafficking. /Courtesy Telemundo.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is investigating possible exploitation at a company called Packers Sanitation Services for illegally employing approximately 50 immigrant minors to work at a meat processing plant.
In addition to using chemicals that cause burns and skin damage, juveniles perform cleaning tasks in slaughterhouses, according to surveys and reports from other workers.
Juveniles working in meat factories are estimated to be between the ages of 13 and 17 and come from various countries in Latin America.
The U.S. Department of Labor reported that, according to information collected by the Telemundo network, the investigation was primarily focused on physical injuries suffered by minors due to the complexity of the work and products used.
Authorities are also investigating whether it may have been a human trafficking ring that forced the children to work for the company.
DHS said the investigation was conducted because of a large number of immigrant minors working at the company’s facilities, raising concerns with authorities and motivating an investigation to rule out crimes such as human trafficking.