Koch Foods, one of the largest poultry producers in the US, is hosting a job fair on Monday to replace the workers who were apprehended by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency this week.
ICE raided seven food processing plants across Mississippi on Wednesday, arresting a total of 680 illegal workers, marking the largest workplace enforcement raid in 11 years and the largest single state raid in United States history.
Approximately 300 of the 680 illegal aliens that were arrested were released the day on “humanitarian grounds” and received notices to appear before immigration judges, according to ICE officials.
Koch Foods noted in its announcement all applicants must provide two forms of valid identification.
Employers have not yet been charged for hiring illegal immigrants, however, ICE and the U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Mississippi warn employers are subject to their ongoing investigation.
“HSI’s (Homeland Security Investigations) worksite enforcement efforts are equally focused on aliens who unlawfully seek work in the U.S. as well as the employers who knowingly hire them,” HSI New Orleans Special Agent in Charge Jere Miles said in a U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Mississippi news release issued after the raids.
Hiring unauthorized workers is mainly a civil offense according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Koch Foods maintains that it recruited all its workers through E-Verify, a federal government database and screens it temporary workers through a third party service.
The plant is not associated with the GOP mega-donor billionaires Charles and David Koch.
Democrats demanding explanations from the departments of Justice and Homeland Security about how they carried out sweeping immigration raids in Mississippi.
“We are concerned by reports that these enforcement actions on August 7, 2019, left many children—on their first day of school—separated from their parents and terrified because they did not know where their parents were taken and detained,” wrote Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Jamie Raskin (D-Md.).
The lawmakers are demanding information on the raids cost, how many minors and U.S. citizens were hauled in, details on the separations of parents from their children, and whether the employers will also face penalties.
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