PALESTINE, TX—In a shocking announcement by City Manager Wendy Ellis, it was revealed that for at least two weeks, the City of Palestine has used illegal immigrants to read and test water meters. The decision was made after city staff became overwhelmed with requests to re-read and test meters after the release of a 2013 study that showed that 67% of water meters may be over reading causing customers to pay for more water than they actually use. The report was released by Bob Herrington on KNET’s Meddling in the Morning.
Ellis explained to The Dogwood Tale that the decision to use illegal immigrants was made because of the cheap labor and says that the community will stay safe despite the influx of undocumented workers.
“We’ll only be paying these people $2.50 per hour which is far below the federal minimum wage,” Ellis said, “And the community doesn’t have a worry because we keep the workers housed at the Carnegie Building where they must stay until they work off what they owe the taxpayer for bringing them here. I don’t know what minimum wage is, but they tell me it’s somewhere around $7.25 per hour. We’ll also save on health care costs because we won’t be putting these people on the plan.”
Ellis expects a “new shipment” of workers every month for the foreseeable future. According to Ellis, each month a member of “senior staff” travels to the border and retrieves that months shipment. Once in Palestine, the immigrants are put right to work and must work a minimum of one year before they have satisfied their debt to the citizens of Palestine. The immigrants will eventually be released into the community.
Ellis says the program is not without flaws.
“We’ve only had one escape and that was quickly handled by water distribution and wastewater collection supervisor Doug Whitten,” Ellis said. “Once the immigrant was found to have escaped, Doug immediately grabbed his gun and flashlight and after a brief search in a nearby field, the immigrant was back in the Carnegie Building. We made an example out of her so I doubt we’ll have that problem again.”
Ellis assures the residents of Palestine that a member of “senior staff” is always on night watch, adding, “Public safety is our number one priority, but we need to get these meters read and tested.”