Wednesday, October 8, 2008
This is becoming a familiar refrain. Yesterday, ICE raided a South Carolina poultry processing plan, arresting about 300 apparently undocumented workers. According to BNA's Daily Labor Report (subscription required):
ICE agents executed federal search warrants at House of Raeford's Columbia Farms chicken processing plant, ICE said. Agents are searching for evidence relating to the unauthorized employment of illegal aliens and other crimes as part of an ongoing, 10-month criminal investigation into the company's employment practices, ICE said. . . .
Kenneth A. Smith, ICE special agent in charge of the Office of Investigations in Atlanta, agreed, calling the enforcement action the "latest step in a comprehensive criminal investigation focused on identifying the individuals involved in allowing unauthorized workers to gain employment." "ICE targets employers because the promise of employment draws illegal workers across our borders," Smith said. "By holding employers accountable, we are diminishing the magnet and discouraging others from breaking the law." . . .
So far, approximately 58 workers were released on humanitarian grounds, the agency said. These individuals still will be required to appear before a federal immigration judge who will determine whether or not they will be deported, ICE said. Additionally, ICE said that any juvenile workers found to be in the country illegally who cannot be released into the custody of an adult will be transferred into the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement, ICE said.
ICE agents also will refer cases to the U.S. attorney's office for criminal prosecution upon identifying individuals who are in possession of stolen or unauthorized identification information, have previously been deported following a criminal felony conviction, or appear to be involved in other criminal activity, ICE said.
The Oct. 7 raid follows criminal charges filed against 12 House of Raeford employees earlier this year, ICE said. In June, arrest warrants were issued for 11 supervisors at the plant, alleging that the men--who were all nationals of Mexico--were in the country illegally and were engaged in aggravated identity theft and making false statements to ICE authorities, the agency said. . . . In July human resources manager Elaine Crump was indicted on 20 counts of filing false I-9 employment identification forms. Crump is awaiting trial, ICE said.
Maybe after the election we can get an immigration policy that doesn't give immigrants a wink and a nudge to come work in this country, then throw them in jail and break up their families for doing just that. It should happen right after the pigs stop flying.
Hat Tip: Dennis Walsh