U.S. immigration authorities arrested more than 100 illegal immigrants on Tuesday afternoon at a packing plant in northeastern Ohio.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) and Homeland Security agents carried out a search warrant, arresting 146 employees at Fresh Mark, a meat processing plant, for immigration violations.
“During the search warrant execution, authorities identified 146 Fresh Mark employees working at the Salem meat processor who were subject to arrest for immigration violations,” ICE said in a news release, adding that search warrants were executed at four locations in Ohio.
“Unlawful employment is one of the key magnets drawing illegal aliens across our borders,” said Steve Francis, HSI special agent in charge for Michigan and Ohio. “Businesses who knowingly harbor and hire illegal aliens as a business model must be held accountable for their actions.”
The arrests are part of a yearlong investigation into Fresh Mark and whether the firm knowingly hired illegal immigrants. It said, “Many of these aliens are utilizing fraudulent identification belonging to U.S. citizens.”
According to Fox8, they will be moved to detention facilities in Ohio and Michigan. Several people were processed and released on humanitarian grounds.
“Fresh Mark is a member in ICE’s IMAGE program, which stands for ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers. However, IMAGE members are not immune from ICE scrutiny or prosecution for workforce compliance violations,” said ICE in the statement.
ICE arrests more than 100 workers in surprise raid on Ohio-based meat supplier Fresh Mark https://t.co/YggyHEOMpe
— Gab: The Free Speech Social Network (@getongab) June 20, 2018
ICE arrests over 100 undocumented workers during raid of Ohio meat plant https://t.co/rDpwi2oyY6
— NBC4 Columbus (@nbc4i) June 20, 2018
Veronica Dahlberg, executive director of Latino advocacy group HOLA Ohio, told Cleveland.com that most of the people are from Guatemala.