Butler County, Ohio, Sheriff's Department spokesman Sgt. Monte Mayer said hundreds of federal agents, sheriff's deputies and other local law-enforcement officers joined forces in a raid at Koch Foods in Fairfield, Ohio, in what he called "the latest crackdown on illegal aliens and the businesses who employ them."
As of early afternoon, Sgt. Mayer said more than 160 people had been arrested on immigration violations.
Immigration spokesman Richard Rocha said the operation was the end result of a two-year investigation.
"I've been saying for 2½ years we're coming," said Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones during a news conference Tuesday afternoon. "Don't have illegals. Don't violate the law. I personally have no sympathy for you whatsoever."
Cracking down on employers is one of the most important aspects of controlling the border because those employers and one of the major reasons people cross the border illegally.
Statement from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
ICE executes federal criminal search warrants at Koch Foods and arrests more than 160 on immigration charges
Simultaneous criminal search warrant executed at Koch corporate office in Chicago, IL
CINCINNATI - Special agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) today executed criminal search warrants at Koch Foods in Fairfield, Ohio. ICE identified more than 180 Koch employees working at the Fairfield plant requiring further questioning and administratively arrested more than 160 as of 4PM for immigration violations. ICE agents simultaneously executed criminal search warrants at Koch's corporate office in Chicago.
The enforcement actions are part of a two-year, ongoing ICE investigation based on evidence that Koch Foods may have been knowingly hired illegal aliens at its poultry processing and packaging facility.
"Unlawful employment is one of the key magnets drawing illegal aliens across our borders," said Julie L. Myers, Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for ICE. "When illegal aliens use fraudulent documents or engage in identity theft, they not only exploit a vulnerability, they also cause real harm to U.S. citizens. We will pursue egregious violators by seeking criminal charges and continue to deploy tools such as the new social security no match guidelines to help businesses comply with the law."
Today's enforcement action was coordinated with ICE's federal, state and local counterparts including, the Southern District of Ohio's U.S. Attorney's Office; the USDA Office of the Inspector General; Health and Human Service's Department of Immigration Health Services; the Ohio Department of Public Safety; the Butler County Sheriff's Office; the Butler County District Attorney's Office; and Butler County Children's Services.
At the Fairfield plant, illegal aliens have been interviewed by ICE and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Division of Immigration Health Services (HHS/DIHS) to record any medical concerns, sole-caregiver issues or other humanitarian concerns. Based on this information, ICE makes decisions regarding whether or not an illegal alien should be released for humanitarian reasons. If released, the illegal alien is issued a notice to appear in front of an immigration judge at a later date.
Aliens who are being detained will be transported to an ICE processing facility located in the Cincinnati area and placed in removal proceedings. Aliens will be detained while awaiting removal proceedings.
A 24-hour toll-free detainee locator hotline is available exclusively for family members of those arrested in today's operation to field questions about detention status and the removal process. The hotline operates in English and Spanish; the phone number is 866-341-3858.
Back on July 5th we showed you that Arizona has also been cracking down on employers that were employing illegal immigrant.
This is one one aspect of what we need to do to enforce the laws on the books and take care of the illegal immigration problem we face today in the U.S.
Hot Air points to yet another instance where an illegal alien, drunk, killed an off duty police officer and then instead of attempting to hep the officer, he tried to run away,
According to BizJournals, Koch Foods are now cooperating, but if they had been warned for 2 years and it has taken a 300 man raid on their facility to get them to cooperate, how many reading this really think their cooperation will be full?
[Update] Statement from Koch Foods:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 28, 2007
Koch Foods is fully cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents who today executed searches at company facilities in Fairfield, Ohio and Park Ridge, IL.
As part of our standard employment process, we require employees to provide documentation in accordance with the law, and we have implemented a program to audit this documentation. Additionally, we are in the process of implementing a company-wide program through the Department of Homeland Security verification system to ensure that all of our workers are fully documented and eligible to work.
Koch Foods is committed to complying with all immigration laws, and we look forward to resolving this matter quickly.
In the meantime, we are continuing normal business operations at the Park Ridge facility, and will resume operations this evening in Fairfield. We remain focused on quality and service as we continue to supply fresh and frozen poultry products for food service and retail operators across the country and around the world.
Media Contact: Mark Kaminsky
[Update] 161 people arrested, all illegal immigrants from eight different countries, 80 remain in custody, 20 have been charged with state offenses, including forgery and taking the identity of another, and are in the Butler County jail and 61 were release for humanitarian reasons and told to show up before an immigration judge at a future date.
Any bets on whether they will show up in front of the judge?
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Chalk up another one for the good guys from Four Pointer...