USDOL Embraces Major Alien Smuggler
To comment go to B’Man’s Revolt.
The United States Department of Labor (USDOL) presentation is entitled “Cultivating Compliance.” It is described as, “A video to assist employers with compliance in the agricultural industry.” It went up on YouTube on July 3, 2014.
The first person who is seen speaking in the video is Lee Wicker—at the 1:28 mark. He is also the last person to address the viewers, at 9:54 of the 10 min. 38 sec. video. Besides USDOL’s narrator, only two other people have speaking parts, Justin Flores of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee of the AFL-CIO and James T. Hill, a grower from Kinston, North Carolina. Each of them appears only once. Wicker, then, under whose name is written simply, “North Carolina Growers’ Association,” might be described as something of the star of the USDOL presentation.
That USDOL would showcase the man in such a way is very curious, indeed, because on January 31, 2014, a federal grand jury handed down a 41-count indictment against Lee Wicker’s boss at the NCGA and the boss’s daughter. Here is how we characterized that indictment at the beginning of our article about it, “Has Obama Gone Bulworth on Alien Smuggling.”
For a quarter of a century the “largest farm labor contractor in the country,” described by an internal state memo in North Carolina as the impresario of “the largest alien smuggling ring in our nation’s history” according to Mother Jones magazine, has operated with impunity. He has done it right out in the open with state and federal government approval. His scheme has been successful during the first Bush administration, the Clinton administration, the second Bush administration, and during Barack Obama’s entire first term. Now, after an extended investigation of its own, Obama’s Department of Justice has, at long last, come down on him like a ton of bricks.
We are talking about Craig Stanford “Stan” Eury, Jr. of the little town of Vass, NC. On Friday, January 31 a federal grand jury in Greensboro, NC, handed down a 41-count indictment, running to 57 pages, for a variety of dodges in which he and his daughter, Sarah Elizabeth Farrell, allegedly illegally stockpiled mainly Mexican workers for assignment to U.S. employers of their choice, regardless of who they were legally committed to work for.
Lee Wicker is Stan Eury’s right-hand man at the NCGA. One would think that after the federal indictment the Department of Labor would have backed away a bit from that organization. But what we see with the showcasing of Wicker in this video is that approval within the organization with the primary responsibility for assuring that the NCGA not do the sorts of things for which the Eurys were indicted apparently continued as if the NCGA had not been exposed.
In a certain sense, we might say that the organization had not been exposed because, as we note in that earlier article, the press coverage of that indictment was virtually non-existent. Even all the major newspapers in North Carolina blacked out this very big news story.
By coming out with this NCGA and Wicker-touting video when it did, the USDOL would seem to be hitting a particularly sour, off-key, politically tone-deaf note. If so, so too did the Associated Press three months before with its gratuitously NCGA-promoting “news” item entitled “NC farmers lead country on legal foreign workers.” We described that AP effort as a “bouquet” to the NCGA in our article “AP Gives Alien Smugglers ‘Infomercial’. The AP, like the USDOL in its video, cannily used Wicker instead of Eury as the voice of the NCGA, as if he were the top dog.
The more closely we look at the USDOL’s “Cultivating Compliance,” the more it seems, at the very least, to be a bouquet to those desperadoes as well. In fact, it looks like this video ostensibly aimed at a national farm audience might have been a joint production with the North Carolina Growers’Association. The crops we see harvested by the likely H-2A guest-worker laborers are typically North Carolina products, sweet potatoes and tobacco. As we noted, the one farmer we see talking is from Kinston, NC, where those crops are grown. That farmer, James T. Hill, happens to be the father of the NCGA’s Jay Hill.
And where, you might ask, does the younger Hill fit in the picture? This is from the previously referenced Mother Jones article entitled “Silence in the Fields.”
At the warehouse in Vass, [Mexican H-2A worker Efrain] Madrigal remains silent during an orientation for newcomers. Each time another shipment of men arrives, one of Stan Eury's employees appears on the second-floor balcony, like a Mexican padrone, to welcome them in Spanish -- and to warn them not to talk with farmworker advocates. "When the attorneys from Legal Services show up, watch out," says Jay Hill of the Growers Association. "They want to take your job away from you." Instead, Hill urges the men to call the association if they have concerns. "Your problem is my problem," he says. "I can't rest until the problems are solved.”
Yes, James Hill’s son, Jay, is Stan Eury’s chief enforcer, the supervisor of men like Paul Saffle, shown in this video slugging a union organizer. We gather from Mother Jones that his main responsibility is to keep the H-2A workers in line and to prevent the word of any abuses from getting out.
My contacts within North Carolina’s Employment Security Commission, in fact, were surprised when Jay Hill was not included when the federal indictment was expanded to 87 counts in September 2014 and Eury’s two assistants, Wicker and Ken White, were included in it, while Eury’s daughter was dropped, apparently turning into a cooperating witness. We covered that story with “Feds Pile New Charges on Top Alien Smuggler.”
It’s a good thing we did, because this time, in spite of the much greater seriousness of the charges, the mainstream news media blackout was complete. So total was the news blackout, in fact, that in the face of some rather serious competition, we made it the number one candidate for the dubious accolade, “The Great Suppression of 2014.”
YouTube Monkey Business
Since the USDOL apparently felt that it was under no pressure, even after Wicker’s inclusion in the indictment, to put distance between itself and Wicker and the NCGA because of the news blackout, I decided to apply a little pressure of my own. I was surprised to see that, even though the video had been on YouTube for eight months there had been fewer than a thousand viewers and there had been no comments at all. I hastily put up what I now see was a rather awkwardly worded, but pointed, comment on February 25:
It's interesting to see Lee Wicker there, presented as an authority at the beginning and the end, who is currently under an 87-count federal visa-fraud indictment See https://buelahman.wordpress.com/2014/10/16/feds-pile-new-charges-on-top-alien-smuggler/.
It reminds me of the CFR video using Brian Williams: http://www.cfr.org/about/. These things aren't good for one's credibility.
I was gratified to see that my comment went up immediately, and where previously there had been “NO COMMENTS YET,” there now appeared, “ALL COMMENTS (1). My satisfaction was short-lived, however. I notified several people who are also interested in the story, and when they went to the site they all continued to see “NO COMMENTS YET.” One of them wrote a comment of his own to see what would happen. At first it went up, he tells me, but almost as soon as it did, it was gone, even on his own computer. A day later my comment was gone from my computer, too, or so I thought. Only a couple of days later did I notice that, when I looked at the video, YouTube was signed in to another family member, who regularly uses Gmail. Since Google bought YouTube, signing in to YouTube is automatic when you sign in to Gmail. I replaced that sign-in with my own, and there was my comment again.
YouTube has arranged it so my comment would have an audience of exactly one, me. I don’t suppose I have to tell you what YouTube’s big lie to everyone else portends. Nothing YouTube reports with respect to a video’s comments, number of views, thumbs up or thumbs down, has any credibility at all. YouTube is also lying to me when it says there has been only my comment. I know of one that was made that was taken down almost as soon as it went up. Who knows how many comments there have been? This is much worse than comments not being accepted, because YouTube is not just lying about the comments to its general viewership, it is obviously attempting to deceive people who make comments, making them believe that their comments are being viewed by everyone.
At this point, a small digression from the main topic is in order. The deceit we see here from YouTube tends to bear out my suspicion as expressed in my article, “My Brush with French (and World) ‘Press Freedom’”, that YouTube monkeys with its numbers, particularly the number of viewers of a particular video. I said at that time that I doubted that YouTube would ever permit the video of Mark Lentz’s powerful antiwar song, “At What a Cost, ever to crest 5,000 viewers. I might have set the ceiling too high. As I write this the viewership count stands at a paltry 3,000. Maybe this mention will give it another bump, but at this point it looks like YouTube will never even let the numbers get as high as 4,000, however many people might actually watch it.
The Real Agenda
In light of the connection between the CIA and YouTube’s parent, Google, we should not be surprised that YouTube should employ sinister machinations to suppress sentiment against rampant militarism. Here we see YouTube, though, manifestly using those dark arts on behalf of the USDOL, as the latter subtly promotes the interests of the massive alien-smuggling North Carolina Growers’ Association. Maybe that shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, though. If the sold-out media would do it, why wouldn’t YouTube? Aren’t they all part of the same media-spook complex? What we see going on here, after all, through the coddling of wholesale illegal alien smugglers, is pursuit of the globalist agenda that we have laid out in our “Poems for the New Plantation.”
My contacts within the state government farm labor bureaucracy tell me that from the beginning the biggest regulatory enabler for the NCGA’s abuse of immigrant workers, as laid out in the aforementioned Mother Jones article, and deprivation of job opportunities for American workers and other abuses of the system, as detailed in the 87-count federal indictment, has been the USDOL. So soiled are their hands, it is little wonder that their own enablers at YouTube would not permit comments on their “compliance” video. If they did, we might be able to see there such comments as one I received from a contact in North Carolina:
As a 35-year acquaintance of a USDOL farm labor compliance investigator, I can say with certainty that almost everything the USDOL compliance video says about their enforcement of H-2A regulations is false. The video says USDOL enforces the ¾ (of stated hours) guarantee. He told me point blank that they never enforce that. The video states that they enforce the regulation that domestic workers be given preference over alien H-2A visa holders. My acquaintance said that USDOL enforcement obligations only start after the worker (foreign or domestic) has entered into the employer's workforce. The video says that USDOL enforces the AEWR (adverse effect wage rate), which is invariably higher than minimum wage. He told me they only enforce minimum wage provisions. In sum, the USDOL investigator said that an employer using the H-2A program would only be subject to having his payroll records checked to see that all workers received at least minimum wage for the hours the records showed they worked.
The trial of Eury, Wicker, and White is slated to begin sometime next month in Greensboro, NC. We wish U.S. Attorney Ripley Rand and Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank J. Chut, Jr., well in their efforts to clean up this sink of corruption the farm labor realm, but it looks from our perspective like they are lined up against some pretty powerful forces. If complete justice were to be done, beside the three NCGA amigos in the dock we would also see some high officials in North Carolina’s Employment Security Commission and in the USDOL. And, yes, why not throw in the accessories to the corruption in the news media and at YouTube?
March 4, 2015
Perhaps as a result of this article, the Labor Department video in question has been made private. The general public can no longer watch it. You can watch it only if you have been given permission by the USDOL from which you can obtain an access code for the purpose of signing in. Now I guess you’ll just have to take my word for what was in it.
September 30, 2015