Immigration enforcement officials arrested 160 migrants at a Texas factory and hauled away boxes of evidence that may be used to convict company managers for violating workplace laws.
The August 28 raid by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) against Load Trail, in Sumner, Texas, spotlights the agency’s revived enforcement of worksite laws which were largely ignored by officials during the prior administrations of former President George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
The factory employs 500 people to build trailers.
An agency statement said:
“Businesses that knowingly hire illegal aliens create an unfair advantage over their competing businesses,” said Special Agent in Charge Katrina W. Berger, HSI Dallas, which oversees 128 counties in North Texas, and the state of Oklahoma. “In addition, they take jobs away from U.S. citizens and legal residents, and they create an atmosphere poised for exploiting their illegal workforce.” …
These laws help protect jobs for U.S. citizens and lawful U.S. residents, eliminate unfair competitive advantages for companies that unlawfully hire an illegal workforce, and strengthen public safety and national security.
Unauthorized workers often use stolen identities of legal U.S. workers, which can profoundly damage for years the identity-theft victim’s credit, medical records and other aspects of their everyday life.
The Dallas News reported:
The company paid a $445,000 fine in 2014 for hiring undocumented immigrants to work in its plant, according to an ICE report. “The company employed more than 179 unauthorized workers” at the time, the report said.
Mexican officials promised aid and legal services for the illegal migrants, according to the Dallas News:
At the Mexican Consulate in Dallas, Deputy Consul Edurne Pineda said consular staff may go to assist immigrant families in Paris. Many Mexican immigrants live there, Pineda said.
“Unfortunately, we are expecting a lot of Mexican nationals to be detained,” he said. “We are going to interview each one with an attorney, and we will check to see if they have any chance of fighting their case.”
More video here.
But factory worker Dennis Perry is torn about the targeting of immigrant workers and his employer. ‘They are trying to support their families. But there is a right way to do it…’ 5/ pic.twitter.com/Ibk1tP0g1G
— Dianne Solis (@disolis) August 28, 2018
In 2018, the DHS agency has conducted several large-scale enforcement raids, including a meatpacker in Tennessee, and a meatpacker and landscaping firm in Ohio. On August 8, ICE officials detained 133 migrant agricultural workers at sites in Nebraska and Minnesota, and also broke up a migrant-smuggling ring. Subsequently, pro-immigration advocates at the ACLU complained about the enforcement action.
Since October 2017, the agency’s Homeland Security Investigations unit has also checked employment records at more than 6,093 worksites, up from 1,716 in the prior fiscal year from October 2016 to the end of September 2017.
The agency has made more than 675 criminal arrests of managers or supervisors, plus more than 984 administrative arrests of illegals in the last nine months, versus 139 criminal arrests and 172 administrative arrests during the prior 12 months, according to a DHS statement. That is a five-fold increase in criminal arrests and a sixfold increase in administrative arrests.
The extensive operations are pressuring employers to exclude illegal immigrants and raise wages for Americans. Economic data, for example, shows that blue-c0llar wages are rising faster than white-collar wages compared to the 1998 to 2001 boom.
Each year, four million young Americans enter the workforce — and the government imports 1 million legal immigrants, replenishes the population of roughly 1.5 million white-collar guest workers, and does little to repatriate the resident population of roughly 8 million illegal immigrants.
That process spikes profits and Wall Street values by cutting salaries for manual and skilled labor offered by blue-collar and white-collar employees. The policy also drives up real estate prices, widens wealth-gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, hurts kids’ schools and college education, pushes Americans away from high-tech careers, and sidelines at least 5 million marginalized Americans and their families, including many who are now struggling with opioid addictions. Immigration also pulls investment and wealth away from heartland states because investment flows towards the large immigrant populations living in the coastal states.