Tyson Foods, one of the largest meatpackers in the United States, faces allegations from America First Legal (AFL), a conservative group founded by former Trump administration officials. The group claims that Tyson is discriminating against U.S. citizens by favoring immigrants, including undocumented individuals and children, in its hiring practices. This has sparked calls for investigations by several governmental agencies.

Accusations and Calls for Investigations

America First Legal sent letters to the U.S. Department of Justice, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and an Iowa civil rights agency, urging them to investigate Tyson Foods’ employment practices. AFL alleges that Tyson employs 42,000 foreign workers, accounting for more than one-third of its U.S. workforce, and participates in programs aimed at recruiting even more immigrant labor.

The letters point out that more than half of all meatpacking workers in the U.S. are immigrants, compared to approximately 17% of the overall U.S. workforce, based on data from the Center for Economic and Policy Research. AFL claims Tyson has exploited the recent surge in illegal border crossings to build a pool of cheap labor.

Related: Is Tyson Foods Favouring Migrants Over US Workers?

Leadership and Legal Context

AFL is led by Stephen Miller, a former senior adviser to President Donald Trump known for his stringent immigration policies. Matthew Whitaker, former Acting U.S. Attorney General, serves on AFL’s board, and several staff lawyers previously worked at the Trump-era Justice Department.

In its complaint, AFL references a recent case where a major food sanitation company, contracting with Tyson and other meat processors, paid $1.5 million in penalties for employing minors in hazardous jobs. Some of these children worked at Tyson plants, though Tyson itself was not implicated in the wrongdoing.

Legal and Social Implications

AFL contends that Tyson’s hiring practices violate federal and Iowa laws prohibiting discrimination based on citizenship status, race, national origin, and other protected characteristics. The group argues that Tyson’s actions represent a clear bias against American workers, favoring immigrants to reduce labor costs.

Tyson Foods has not responded to requests for comment. However, in March, the company refuted similar claims circulating on social media, stating: “Any insinuation that we would cut American jobs to hire immigrant workers is completely false.”

The Justice Department, the EEOC, and the Iowa agency are not required to respond to AFL’s complaints or initiate investigations. If they do decide to investigate and find merit in the claims, they could seek to negotiate a settlement with Tyson or pursue legal action against the company.

AFL’s Broader Agenda

America First Legal has a history of filing complaints against major U.S. companies, primarily focusing on accusations that diversity policies discriminate against men, white, Asian, and heterosexual workers. This complaint against Tyson Foods is notable as it appears to be the first involving claims of bias against American workers in favor of immigrants.

To date, the EEOC has not indicated whether it is investigating AFL’s complaints. AFL’s push against Tyson Foods could be part of a broader strategy to challenge corporate diversity and inclusion practices, framing them as discriminatory against certain groups.

Industry and Economic Impact

The allegations against Tyson Foods highlight broader concerns within the meatpacking industry, where immigrant labor is prevalent. The industry’s reliance on immigrant workers has been a point of contention, especially during times of increased scrutiny on immigration policies and labor practices.

Tyson Foods, headquartered in Arkansas, is a significant player in the U.S. meatpacking sector. The company’s employment practices and the recent accusations could impact its operations and reputation. As investigations potentially unfold, Tyson may face legal and financial repercussions, depending on the outcomes of any probes.


The accusations by America First Legal against Tyson Foods underscore ongoing tensions around immigration, labor practices, and corporate responsibility in the U.S. meatpacking industry. As governmental agencies consider whether to investigate these claims, the situation at Tyson Foods serves as a critical case study in the complex interplay between immigration policies and labor market dynamics. The outcome of this dispute could have significant implications for Tyson Foods and the broader industry, shaping future employment practices and regulatory approaches.


Verified by ExactMetrics
Verified by MonsterInsights