Food processing corporation Koch Foods Inc. is suing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency after raids which they say were “illegal,” claiming that they did not knowingly hire unauthorized workers.
Last month, ICE agents conducted the largest workplace raid in more than a decade across five food processing plants in Mississippi, netting the arrests of 680 illegal aliens. That same day, though, ICE officials said they released about 300 of the illegal workers back into the U.S. on “humanitarian grounds” while more than 200 of the illegal workers had prior criminal records. Prosecutors say many of the illegal workers stole Americans’ identities to work at the plants.
In a legal motion against ICE, Koch Foods executives claim that ICE officials did not have substantial evidence to indicate that the food processing plant in Morton, Mississippi employed illegal workers and therefore the raids were illegal.
Koch Foods executives also say that there is no evidence to support that they intentionally hired illegal workers, writing:
The affidavit sworn out against Koch Foods contains no information from confidential informants alleging that Koch Foods was knowingly hiring unauthorized workers. And the affidavit does not indicate that ICE has any source indicating that this type of illegal behavior exists at the Morton Processing Facility. The affidavit is entirely founded on the presumption that, since certain persons who have been deported by [ICE] had previously worked at Koch Foods’ Morton Processing Plant, then it should be assumed that Koch Foods must have known that they were hiring unauthorized workers. [Emphasis added]
The motion claims since the raid on Koch Foods Inc. was illegal, any data or information taken by ICE from the food processing plant should be barred from use in a courtroom.
“Imperfection ought not expose a business to the egregiously disruptive execution of a workplace search warrant,” the motion states. “The execution of the search warrant, in this case, was an abuse by law enforcement that should not be permitted.”
Federal prosecutors have asserted that Koch Foods, along with the other four food processing plants raided by ICE, “willfully and unlawfully” hired illegal workers over Americans. Koch Foods, specifically, is detailed as having a long record of hiring illegal aliens for more than a decade. Between September 2002 and April 2019, the affidavits state, ICE agents arrested 144 illegal workers at Koch Foods — not including the illegal workers who slipped through the cracks.
The legal action by Koch Foods against ICE comes as a lawsuit alleges that multiple corporations in the food processing industry have conspired for years to depress the wages of their immigrant and American workers.
To date, none of the employers at the five food processing plants have been charged with hiring illegal workers over Americans by federal prosecutors. Likewise, only 40 of the 680 illegal workers arrested by ICE have had charges brought against them.
Today, there are at least eight million illegal aliens holding American jobs in the U.S. economy that would have otherwise gone to American workers and legal immigrants. The mass employment of illegal aliens by hundreds of businesses, though, continues to go largely ignored by the law, as only 11 employers and no businesses have been federally prosecuted for hiring illegal aliens in the last year.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.