SPRINGDALE, ARK. – A program assisting Tyson Foods Inc.’s immigrant workers to become citizens of the United States has been increased to include 40 facilities across 14 states, as part of a commitment of more than $1 million to provide legal services to employees seeking assistance. The Tyson Immigration Partnership (TIP) supported seven facilities over this past year, as a widespread labor shortage continued to plague the industry.
The company said working with Arkansas’ non-profit groups, which included the Arkansas Immigrant Defense and the Immigrant Connection, has helped more than 500 workers seeking citizenship by assisting with employment authorization renewals, petitions for citizenship and other legal services. Workers are also reimbursed for application fees as they pursue citizenship, a process that costs upwards of $725. Immigrant Connection officials are hosting monthly informational meetings for workers at 27 Tyson locations across the country while Arkansas Immigrant Defense is visiting employees at 13 locations in Arkansas.
With a US workforce consisting of workers from more than 160 countries, Tyson said expanding the TIP program is the latest effort to become an industry-leading employer. Officials said it is an employer of choice for many immigrants due to its average hourly pay of more than $18, and its generous benefit plan, which equates to an average annual compensation value of more than $50,000.
“We care about our team members and want to help them achieve their goals, including those who have dreams of becoming US citizens and having greater access to opportunities our country has to offer,” said John R. Tyson, executive vice president and chief sustainability officer. “We’re working hard to help team members who want and need assistance with their lawful immigration status or the complex and expensive process of becoming a citizen. We want to be the most sought-after place to work, and this is one way we hope to do that.”