Immigrants say a ‘Jesus-centered’ chicken factory is forcing them into homelessness

By: Will Doran, The News & Observer, March 23, 2018

Ana Monter’s family brought her to the United States when she was a child, like many other immigrants chasing the American dream. But they were so poor as she was growing up that she started working in a Chatham County chicken factory at age 15 to help support her family.

She dropped out of school to work full-time and eventually saved up enough money to start a family and buy a mobile home of her own, just yards away from the factory in Siler City.

Now, she’s terrified the new owners of that factory — which has received millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded incentives to re-open the plant — are about to condemn her and her children to homelessness.

The state also gave Mountaire $1.6 million.

That state money has since been returned as officials seek an even larger sum, due to the larger number of jobs they’re promising to create. However, the grant remains part of an ethics complaint filed against N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore, a Republican from Cleveland County near Charlotte.

A company Moore co-owns bought the then-abandoned factory in 2013 and sold it to Mountaire in 2016 for nearly five times as much as the 2013 price.

A Washington-based watchdog group, the Campaign for Accountability, said there should be an investigation into whether Moore misused his political power to get that grant approved, and to pressure state regulators to go easy on pollution violations on the site.

Moore has denied doing anything wrong.

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