Monday, June 18, 2007

This is where step 2 of my plan comes in

PORTLAND - Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials arrested 165 people Tuesday after raiding three locations looking for undocumented workers.

raidAmerican Staffing Resources is a contract company that provides staffing service for fruit and vegetable processing plant, Fresh Del Monte.

ICE officials raided the ASR office on North Lombard, their satellite office inside Fresh Del Monte and Fresh Del Monte itself. It was at these locations where officials arrested three managers for knowingly hiring undocumented workers and supplying them with false documentation.

The investigation began six months ago after officials received tips. Investigators then sent in an undercover informant posing as someone looking for employment at Fresh Del Monte.

He was told by an ASR representative that a fake social security card would be O.K., as long as it looked like an official government document.

Officials say up to 90 employees had fraudulent or forged social security cards, some of which displayed the real social security of juveniles, the elderly or people who have died. Fake green cards were issued as well.

All but 30 of the 165 people taken into custody will be transported to a federal facility in Tacoma, Wash. Those 30 were released for health reasons or to care for dependents, but they too face a federal immigration judge.

Portland Mayor Tom Potter says he's unhappy with how the raids were carried out.

He released this statement: "I am angered by this morning's arrest by federal officers of approximately 150 Portland residents who were working at a local produce company. I certainly understand why federal officials executed criminal warrants against three individuals who stole and sold Social Security numbers. But to go after local workers who are here to support their families while filling the demands of local businesses for their labor is bad policy."

You create a system where employers HAVE TO check the legal status of employees or else face STIFF fines. The fact that nowhere in this story do you see any reference for the employer to be fined is annoying.

Stop the demand and the supply will stop.

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