Federal government investigating possible trafficking of children who cleaned Grand Island slaughterhouse

There is no indication that the sanitation company is under investigation for trafficking the children who worked there.
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 11:36 AM CST
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (NBC News) - Federal investigators are looking into whether 50 children — some as young as 13 — who were allegedly illegally employed cleaning Midwestern slaughterhouses were victims of labor trafficking, three officials from the Department of Homeland Security told NBC News.

Homeland Security Investigations agents have interviewed children who worked cleaning a JBS Foods slaughterhouse in Grand Island, Neb., the officials say.

There is no indication DHS is investigating the company that hired the children, Packers Sanitation Services Inc., or PSSI, for human trafficking. Instead, said two DHS officials, DHS is investigating to rule out the possibility that outside traffickers may have forced children to work for PSSI and profited off their labor.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, a division of DHS, said, “Due to an ongoing investigation, Homeland Security Investigations cannot comment at this time,” and referred questions to the U.S. Labor Department.