U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and U.S. Rep. Bob Dold (R-IL,10) are among the elected officials scheduled to attend a Wednesday morning roundtable discussion in Chicago on "commonsense" immigration reform.
New research shows the Tyson Fresh Meats animal slaughtering facility in Hillsdale was the top water polluter in Illinois among major agribusiness operations in 2014.
That year, the Tyson Fresh Meats plant released over 2 million pounds of pollutants into the state's waterways, according to the Environment America Research & Education Center's report.
The environmental advocacy group examined the "water pollution footprints" of Tyson Foods and four other major agribusinesses, Cargill, JBS, Perdue and Smithfield, in Illinois and other states. Forty-four percent of the nation's pork, chicken and beef is produced by those five companies, according to the report.
Researchers analyzed the most recent 2014 data from the federal Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) on pollution discharges into waterways from the five major agribusinesses. Among the findings, Tyson's facilities released the most pollutants nationwide -- nearly 21 million pounds.
That's more pollutants "by volume than even Exxon Mobil or DuPont," according to the environmental group.
Current U.S. immigration policy fails to adequately address agricultural industry needs, and congressional reforms are required to strengthen immigrant-dependent farm and food sectors in the Midwest and elsewhere in the county, argues a recent report by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
According to the council, Obama's executive orders fall short for agriculture in part because only 250,000 of the up to 5 million undocumented immigrants eligible for temporary relief from deportation under the plan will be farm workers.
"In November, President Obama announced long-awaited executive action on immigration policy, but the measure provides at best only minimal benefit to farm workers," Michele Wucker, vice president of studies at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, said in a statement. "At worst, it may actually worsen critical labor shortages at farms across the region."