Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials arrested more than 280 illegal immigrants in a raid at a telecommunications equipment repair company in Allen, Texas, on April 3.
As part of an ongoing criminal investigation, agents executed search warrants at CVE Technology Group Inc. and four of CVE’s staffing companies, where the illegal aliens were working.
It all began when Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) received a number of tips that the company had “knowingly hired illegal aliens.” Many of the arrested employees were also using fraudulent identification documents. HSI began an audit of CVE’s I-9 forms in January where they found numerous hiring irregularities.
“Businesses that knowingly hire illegal aliens create an unfair advantage over their competing businesses,” special agent in charge Katrina W. Berger said in a statement. “In addition, they take jobs away from U.S. citizens and legal residents, and they create an atmosphere poised for exploiting their illegal workforce.”
The raid comes as U.S. border security struggles to contain a surge of illegal migrants entering the country. In late March, Border Patrol agents caught 4,117 people who were either trying to cross the U.S.–Mexico border illegally or through a border crossing.
The number marks the most apprehensions in a single day in the past 10 years, according to Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Kevin McAleenan. In a March 27 press conference in El Paso, Texas, he noted that the immigration system had reached a “breaking point” that week.
The 280 arrested illegal immigrants will be interviewed by ICE staff in order to record any medical, sole-caregiver, or other humanitarian situations. ICE will then make a determination to either keep those arrested in custody or consider them for a humanitarian release. As per standard procedure, all who were detained will also be fingerprinted and processed for removal from the United States.
According to ICE, illegal immigrants often use stolen identities of legal U.S. workers, which can have a major impact on the identity-theft victim’s credit, medical records, and more.
The surge in border apprehensions also caught the attention of President Donald Trump.
In March, the Department of Defense notified Congress that it has authorized the transfer of $1 billion toward the construction of the wall on the U.S.–Mexico border.
“Border Patrol and Law Enforcement has apprehended (captured) large numbers of illegal immigrants at the Border. They won’t be coming into the U.S.,” Trump wrote on Twitter on March 9. “The Wall is being built and will greatly help us in the future, and now!”
Border Patrol and Law Enforcement has apprehended (captured) large numbers of illegal immigrants at the Border. They won’t be coming into the U.S. The Wall is being built and will greatly help us in the future, and now!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 9, 2019
El Paso has seen a 500 percent surge in illegal alien apprehensions this fiscal year. Underscoring the scale of the surge, Border Patrol agents in El Paso caught more than 400 illegal aliens in the span of five minutes on March 19.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said recently that the border wall is a vital project for the president. In February, Trump declared a national emergency to address the humanitarian crisis on the southwest border and secure funds for the wall’s construction.
“The whole issue of the wall and border security is of paramount importance. We have a crisis down there; I think the president has made that case very effectively,” Kudlow said. “He’s going to stay with his wall, and he’s going to stay with the border security theme. I think it’s essential.”
In March, the number of illegal aliens apprehended and turned away at the southwest border continued to climb to levels unseen for years. From Dec. 30, 2018, to March 17, more than 23,000 illegal aliens were arrested or turned away at the border, more than double the total turned away or arrested during each of the previous four years, according to DHS data obtained by Axios.
The White House so far has secured $8.1 billion toward border wall construction. Of the total, $1.4 billion was approved by Congress, $3.1 billion was reallocated from other departments, and $3.6 billion was made available under the emergency declaration.