Authorities Arrest Hundreds in Immigration Raids

April 17, 2008 04:00 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Federal agents arrested nearly 300 illegal immigrants Wednesday during sweeps of numerous chicken processing plants. Authorities said identity theft victims played a large role.

30-Second Summary

Federal agents arrested 280 illegal immigrants during raids at Pilgirm’s Pride Corp. poultry plants in five states, according to a release by the Department of Justice.

However, the Fort Worth, Texas-based Star-Telegram quoted Pilgrim’s Pride officials as saying that 400 employees were involved. The workers were arrested on charges of identity theft, document fraud and immigration violations.

“A significant percentage of identity theft is carried out by illegal aliens trying to avoid detection and gain employment,” said Julie L. Myers, Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Immigation and Customs Enforcement. “Even under the least damaging circumstances, these identity thieves wreak havoc with the credit and tax histories of innocent U.S. citizens who spend years trying to repair the damage.”

In Tennessee, The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports on the plight of children whose parents were arrested in the area’s raids, saying that the sheer number of families involved means it will take community agencies a long time to deal with the aftermath.

The blog Think Progress criticizes the timing of the raids, which coincided with Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the United States. The pope said that discussion about the fair treatment of immigrants would be a priority during his meeting with President Bush.

Last month, The New York Times blasted the Bush administration’s immigration policy, criticizing its plan to force businesses to fire employees whose names don’t match the Social Security database.

“The purge is part of a campaign—along with scattershot workplace raids and the partial border fence—to make a show of tackling the broken immigration system,” The Times wrote.

Headline Links: ‘Hundreds Arrested in Immigration Raids at Pilgrim's Pride Plants’

Related Topic: ‘Immigration Raid Takes Parents from Their Children’

Opinion & Analysis: Bush administration critics

Background: Early arrests and animal cruelty at Pilgrim’s Pride

Reference: U.S. immigration guide


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