ICE continues crackdown, arresting 97 in meatpacking plant raid
- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents last week carried out the largest job-site raid and round-up of immigrant workers in 10 years at a meatpacking plant in Grainger County, Tennessee, according to The Washington Post.
- ICE agents arrested 97 immigrants, 10 of whom were charged with federal offenses and one who faces a state charge. The other 86 were held on suspicion of being in the country illegally. Immigrants in Tennessee are reportedly "panicked," the Post said, citing immigrant advocacy groups.
- ICE officials previously warned that the agency would be drastically increasing workplace raids.
Last year, the Trump administration said it would be "quadrupling" worksite visits, especially in the food industry — and so far, it appears to be making good on that promise. ICE raided a Chicago bakery in December, followed by a nationwide crackdown on 7-Eleven convenience stores in January.
Experts recommended that employers prepare by reviewing their compliance efforts. Form I-9 audits, for example, can reveal prior mistakes and help HR ensure its onboard process is up to par.
Some state and local governments have pushed back, ensuring that businesses refrain from taking adverse employment actions against immigrant workers. In California, for example, employees have reported that employers are threatening to call ICE if they speak up about working conditions or pay. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission also said before President Trump's inauguration that it will be focusing on immigrants' rights at work, although it remains to be see whether this will still be a priority.
- The Washington Post CE raids meatpacking plant in rural Tennessee; 97 immigrants arrested