Documents: Plant owners 'willfully' used ineligible workers
Aug 11 2019
Six of seven MS chicken processing plants raided August 7 were "willfully and unlawfully" employing people who lacked authorization to work in the United States, including workers wearing electronic monitoring bracelets at work for previous immigration violations, according to unsealed court documents.
"I want people to know if they're coming into the USA illegally, they're getting out", Trumptold reporters. Garcia said even those who have been released will have trouble before they go to court.
"But the thing that they [ICE] did is devastating", she said.
"I need my dad. he's not a criminal", one little girl cried as she spoke with newsmen.
Gabriela Rosales, right, confers with friends outside the employee entrance to the Koch Foods plant in Morton, Mississippi.
"Based on these procedures, it is believed that all children were with at least one of their parents as of last night", it added.
ICE has said that these raids focused on immigrants with criminal backgrounds and that the others caught up in the sweep were "collateral" arrests.
ICE has been housing thousands more than its budgeted capacity of 45,274 people, mostly due to an unprecedented surge of Central American families arriving at the Mexican border.
"Everybody is in removal proceedings now", she told CBS News.
The action came after almost 700 undocumented immigrants were picked up at seven food processing plants in MS on Wednesday. Workers also alleged that supervisors coerced payments from them for everything from medical leave and promotions to bathroom breaks.
Hundreds of families now stand in the abyss, wondering if they will ever lay eyes on their loved one who was swept away. "My dad didn't do nothing".
In addition, investigators gathered evidence from electronic monitoring bracelets from migrants who had previously been arrested for immigration violations - thus barring them from employment in the US - and noted that all seven raided plants employed these immigrants illegally.
He added that when "people see what they saw (Wednesday), like they will see for a long time, they know that they're not staying here".
Of those detained, 300 have been released with ankle monitoring devices and instructions to appear before an immigration court judge to determine whether they will be deported, according to officials.
Koch Foods said in a statement on its website dated Thursday that it was cooperating with the government's ongoing investigation following the ICE arrests. MS state law requires employers to check documents using E-Verify, an online federal verification system that is otherwise voluntary.
The company has been the target of ICE work site enforcement in the past.
"The children are scared", said Ronaldo Tomas, who identified himself as a worker at another Koch Foods plant in town that wasn't raided. At the time, ICE said Koch Foods was being investigated for federal crimes including encouraging, inducing or harboring immigrants in the United States illegally. People are cutting chickens into pieces. It now counts more than 13,000 employees and bills itself as one of the biggest poultry processors in the United States, with facilities in Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, Tennessee and IL, as well as Mississippi.
Tom Super, spokesman for the National Chicken Council, an industry group, said that processing companies do their best to hire workers with the proper documentation.
He said the raids were "racially neutral" and based on evidence of illegal residency.