Feds: Plants that Hired Illegal Aliens Paid Unlawful Wages, Hired a Child

Immigration and Customs Enforcement worksite enforcement operation in Canton, Mississippi. (ICE)

Three food processing plants in Mississippi, raided by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency last year, were found to have also paid workers below the minimum wage and one plant hired a child.

In August 2019, ICE agents conducted the largest workplace raid in United States history across seven food processing plants in Mississippi, arresting 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 had prior criminal records.

Three of the plants ICE raided — Peco Foods Inc., Koch Foods, and Pearl River Foods LLC — were hit with Labor Department violations for paying workers below the minimum wage and, in one case, hiring a child.

According to Labor Department officials, the three plants have paid nearly $48,000 in back wages to 129 workers as part of their settlement. At Pearl River Foods, officials said the plant made illegal deductions from workers’ paychecks.

At Koch Foods, the plant refused to provide many of its workers with bonuses for overtime work that resulted in their paychecks falling below the minimum wage. Koch Foods was also hit with a child labor requirement violation after they were found to have hired a 15-year-old minor to do meat processing work.

As Breitbart News has chronicled, the plants raided last year have faced little-to-no penalties for hiring hundreds of illegal aliens primarily from Mexico and Central America. Of the 680 illegal aliens arrested in the raids, fewer than 130 have been charged with crimes and less than 80 have been convicted thus far.

Likewise, only four managers from two of the plants have been charged with knowingly hiring illegal aliens. None of the executives at the seven total plants raided have been charged with a crime more than a year later.

ICE officials confirmed months ago that at least 400 American citizens had their identities stolen so that the hundreds of illegal aliens could fraudulently gain employment at the plants.

Federal affidavits, as Breitbart News noted, allege that the plant employers were fully aware that hundreds of their employees were illegally in the U.S., and in some cases, illegal aliens said they were not asked for work authorization documents.

Today, at least eight million illegal aliens hold American jobs in the U.S. economy that would have otherwise gone to Americans. In most cases, these illegal aliens obtain fraudulent work authorization documents or steal American citizens’ identities in order to take jobs.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder


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