ICE Immigration Raid in Texas
A north Texas company was raided by federal immigration authorities in early April, resulting in 280 arrests. The company, CVE, is a telecommunication repair company located in Allen, Texas. There had been complaints that CVE and four of their staffing companies were aware that they hired workers without authorization, and many with fake identification documents. The criminal search warrants were executed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and it was the biggest single work raid in over 10 years. According to an HSI Dallas special agent in charge, the investigation began in January after ICE received tips about the situation.
More on the Case
The agent explained that federal laws mandate that all companies are responsible for verifying that their workers are here legally with I-9 forms. ICE had been auditing CVE and the other companies’ paperwork, and found many hiring irregularities. Those who were arrested would be going through interviews to take stock of any medical issues and other humanitarian release situations, such as being the sole caregiver for a minor. However, the agency also released a statement specifying that all illegal aliens would be processed for eventual removal from the U.S.
One of the arrested workers said that she had worked for CVE for five years, and was arrested, put on a bus, and taken away from the jobsite. She was later released with a court date. Another employee said that the raid was crazy, with frightened employees crying and yelling as they were moved outside. Family members and demonstrators gathered outside the facility for support. This area of North Texas has had other raids, including one last August in the town of Sumner. At that time, 159 undocumented trailer manufacturer workers were arrested.
When discussing immigration laws, the agent stated that they are in place to protect legal residents as well, since they can help give all workers equal access to the same job opportunities. She also pointed out that illegally hired workers may be subject to exploitation and abuse. Many receive lower pay and are faced with unsafe working conditions. Some companies also target immigrants for human trafficking, human smuggling, and fraud.
Trump administration officials have said that these large immigration raids would focus on both employees and employers, since the companies share the responsibility for hiring undocumented workers. However, ICE reports that more employees have been arrested. From September 2017 to September 2018, there were over 1,500 administrative arrests for immigration violations against workers; 666 workers were charged compared to 113 in management positions. ICE did not comment as to whether any of the CVE arrests were employers or management personnel.
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