Federal raid nets nearly 1,300 illegal immigrants at meat packing plants
A raid at 6 Swift meat packing plants in six states has netted over 1,300 illegal immigrants, many said to have been using stolen identities to gain employment.
The plants include one in Marshalltown, IA
Federal immigration agents raided Swift & Co. meatpacking plants in Iowa and five other states today in an investigation of an extensive identify theft scheme.Clearly, when Feds want to hit a huge trove of illegal immigrants, they look no further than the meat packing industry. This isn't new, as the industry has long relied on illegals for their workforces. Why people believe this won't be the case at the new Triumph plant in the Quad Cities is hard to understand.
Federal officials said the agents arrested an undisclosed number of workers at the facilities.
Swift’s plant in Marshalltown employs about 2,200 workers.
Six buses had been brought in to take the detainees away, said Marcelina Ceniceros of Muscatine. She was standing at the gate of the Marshalltown plant while documents were checked inside the plant.
Three buses had been loaded and left the plant, she said.
The Department of Homeland Security issued a statement saying that "large numbers of illegal aliens" may have used the Social Security numbers of U.S. citizens and legal residents to get jobs at the Swift plants.
The statement said Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigators have identified "hundreds of potential victims" of the scheme. The number of arrests at the Swift operations will be released Wednesday, officials said.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will release more information Wednesday, but a telephone number is available for family members trying to get information about loved ones today: 1-866-341-3858. Spanish-speaking government employees are available to help.
Carmen Montealegre of the Hispanic ministry at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Marshalltown pointed out that today is Our Lady of Guadalupe Day, a major festival for Mexican people.
A special mass with singing and dancing was scheduled to be held at the church at 6 p.m., Montealegre said.
She said she didn’t know if the celebration would be held because of the action at the plant.
“It’s really sad,” Montealegre said of the detained workers. “Nobody can help them now.”
Many more stories on the raids and the issues it raises here.