Two more food processing companies have been raided by ICE (Immmigration and Customs Enforcement) in the past week. At least some of the illegal immigrants detained were found to be using stolen identities.

In North Carolina, 25 of the illegal immigrants were using the identities of U.S. citizens.

From the ICE press release:

United States Attorney George E. B. Holding announced today that his office has obtained criminal complaints charging 25 individuals with identity theft and various immigration violations. These individuals were arrested on Aug. 22, 2007, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents as part of an investigation that focused on individuals who were working at the Smithfield Processing plant in Tar Heel, N.C., and who had, as part of the commission of other crimes, transferred, possessed or used the identification of someone else in violation of federal law. The United States Attorney will ask the federal grand jury to consider these cases in the near future.

Meanwhile, in Ohio raids were conducted on Koch Foods and 160 illegal immigrants were detained. While this was going on a search warrant was executed at their corporate office in Chicago.

From the ICE press release:

Special agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) today executed criminal search warrants at Koch Foods in Fairfield, Ohio. ICE identified more than 180 Koch employees working at the Fairfield plant requiring further questioning and administratively arrested more than 160 as of 4PM for immigration violations. ICE agents simultaneously executed criminal search warrants at Koch’s corporate office in Chicago.

There is no disclosure as to whether any of these people were using other people’s identities.

In both press releases, ICE outlined the reasons for the raids:

Unlawful employment is one of the key magnets drawing illegal aliens across our borders,” said Julie L. Myers, Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for ICE. “When illegal aliens use fraudulent documents or engage in identity theft, they not only exploit a vulnerability, they also cause real harm to U.S. citizens. We will pursue egregious violators by seeking criminal charges and continue to deploy tools such as the new social security no match guidelines to help businesses comply with the law.”

Besides unlawful employment, there is a flourishing trade in counterfeit documents that enables a lot of illegal immigrants to obtain employment.

Suad Leija’s Paper Weapons site is a place, where you can get an inside look at how bad this problem is. It also shows how other crimes, besides illegal immigration are tied into the trade.

Suad is currently writing a book, which will go into a lot of detail about the trade in paper weapons.

ICE press release on the North Carolina raid, here.

ICE press release on the Ohio and Illinois raids, here.

Previous posts on how illegal immigration ties into other crimes can be viewed, here.

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