ICE Raid on Texas Company Finds Over 100 Illegal Immigrants

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
August 29, 2018USshare

Federal agents detained over 100 illegal immigrants during a surprise raid on a Texas manufacturing company on Tuesday, Aug. 28.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detained 160 workers at Load Trail, a trailer manufacturing company in Sumner, about 100 miles northeast of Dallas.

The raid involved multiple helicopters and hundreds of agents from across Texas and New Orleans.

Knowingly Hired Illegal Immigrants

Katrina Berger, Homeland Security’s special-agent-in-charge of investigations, said that an investigation of Load Trail’s hiring practices led to the raid. The investigation was launched by a tip that the company knowingly hired illegal immigrants, including some who were allegedly using fake identification.

Berger noted that companies that hire illegal immigrants have an unfair advantage over others.

“[W]e’re watching and we’re coming. Businesses that knowingly hire illegal aliens create an unfair advantage over their competing businesses,” she said.

“In addition, they take jobs away from U.S. citizens and legal residents, and they create an atmosphere posed for exploiting their illegal workforce.”

Previous Violations

Load Trail was previously investigated and agreed to pay a $444,993 fine in 2014 for “knowingly hiring and continuing to employ unauthorized workers,” reported WFAA, citing federal reports. At that time, 179 of the company’s workers were found to be illegal immigrants.

A former employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the broadcaster that she repeatedly warned her bosses that illegal immigrants were hired but said they didn’t care.

“I knew these were clearly illegals. This is not the way we are supposed to be hiring,” she said. “They told me to keep doing my job. That if they were visited by ICE again, they would simply pay the fine and go on.”

She said the illegal immigrants mostly worked as welders, while others were painters and finishers. She claimed the company turned a blind eye due to greed.

“It was just greed,” she claimed. “Flat out in the end, greed because here they were a very successful company and could have been very successful just where they were, not hiring any illegals, but that wasn’t enough.”

Berger said that some company officials may be charged with crimes, citing an ongoing investigation that should end in the next few weeks.

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