Friday, April 18, 2008

Hundreds arrested in immigration raids at poultry plants

Go to AP original
MOUNT PLEASANT, Texas (AP) — Federal agents say their case for a series of workplace raids in five states was strengthened by identity theft victims who recounted stories of plummeting credit scores and medical benefits denied.

Federal authorities carried out the sweeps Wednesday, arresting hundreds of workers at Pilgrim's Pride chicken plants on charges of identity theft, document fraud and immigration violations.

Authorities also arrested dozens of workers at a doughnut factory in Houston, and the operators of a chain of Mexican restaurants in upstate New York.

Authorities said agents investigating a scheme to provide documents for illegal immigrant workers had tracked down several of the identity theft victims.

"Identity theft is a horrible problem that can ruin a person's good name," said Julie Myers, homeland security assistant secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

ICE said nearly 300 people were arrested, but officials at Pilgrim's Pride Corp., the nation's largest chicken producer, said about 400 hourly, non-management employees were taken into custody.


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