Raid on Koch finds 160 illegal aliens
It would appear that their process was not very effective. It also is clear that immigration enforcement authorities should have moved on this operation months ago if they were really serious about the rule of law. Another curious part of this story is that the company was able to resume operations pretty quickly after losing a large number of workers to the immigration enforcement process, which suggest that there are probably a lot of people willing to do this work who are not in the country illegally.
All 161 people taken into custody Tuesday during a federal raid at Koch Foods in Fairfield have been identified as illegal immigrants, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman said Wednesday.
The detainees are from eight countries, including Mexico, Guatemala and Peru.
Eighty of those remain in ICE custody, spokesman Greg Palmore said. Another 20 have been charged with state offenses, including forgery and taking the identity of another, and are in the Butler County jail, he said.
The remaining 61 were released for "humanitarian reasons," Palmore said. They were either the sole caregiver or had medical concerns, he said.
Those released were given notices to appear before an immigration judge at a future date, Palmore said.
As far as any possible charges against Koch Foods, Palmore would only say: "The investigation is continuing. It's ongoing."
Chicago-based Koch Foods said the company is cooperating with customs enforcement officials.
"As part of our standard employment process, we require employees to provide documentation in accordance with the law, and we have implemented a program to audit this documentation," the statement reads. "Koch Foods is committed to complying with all immigration laws, and we look forward to resolving the matter quickly."
The poultry packing plant resumed operations at the Fairfield location on Tuesday evening.