Immigration raids (U.S.)

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Connecticut: Fair Haven

On the morning of June 6, 2007, "[f]ederal agents busted at least four households of allegedly undocumented immigrants in Fair Haven" confirmed Kica Matos, "City Hall's point person for immigration reform. The feds called the raids 'routine.'"[1]

Connecticut: New Haven

On June 6, 2007, in New Haven, CT, two days after the city's Board of Aldermen voted 25-1 "to create all-purpose municipal identification cards, which will allow anyone to open bank accounts and use other services that may be unavailable without driver's licenses or state-issued identification cards," U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents "arrested 29 people for deportation". [2]

"Those arrested already had been ordered deported by judges and will be returned to their home countries," according to Boston's ICE spokeswoman Paula Grenier.[3]

"City officials questioned the raid's timing. ... Now there are in America 11,000 cities, towns and villages, but somehow, by some act of circumstance or coincidence, within 36 hours, the response was in New Haven, Mayor John DeStefano said. Grenier said the routine fugitive operation was not associated with the aldermens' vote."[4]

Illinois: Beardstown

In April 2007, ICE agents raided Beardstown, Illinois' "massive pork-processing plant at the edge of town, owned by multinational meatpacker Cargill Meat Solutions (the April 4 operation targeted a subcontractor that was cleaning the plant, not Cargill itself). The raids netted 62 people, most of whom were sent to federal detention centers that night and later deported."[5]


In May 2007, ICE agents "stormed the buildings of N&F Logistics" in Elmwood, Louisiana, and "arrested 33 men and five women hailing from Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras and China ...

"The round-up was the second this year in Jefferson Parish and third in the New Orleans area to be made public by federal immigration agents. Immigration agents raided MAS Industries, a military supply company in Metairie, on April 14 and arrested 17 people. Two weeks later, agents rounded up 88 people in New Orleans and Jefferson Parish at various locations as part of a massive campaign to deport illegal immigrants suspected of committing felonies. ... The U.S. attorney's office in New Orleans is processing the arrested individuals for criminal backgrounds and possible deportation."[6]

Massachusetts: Nantucket

Eighteen immigrants were arrested June 20, 2007, on the island of Nantucket in an "immigration raid targeting convicted criminals ... at the start of the summer tourism season that depends on immigrants who work in the island's hotels and restaurants ... Sixteen of the 18 people arrested had been convicted of various charges, including drug offenses, assault and battery, possession of a dangerous weapon and larceny, ... Six immigrants had final orders of deportation from an immigration judge but had failed to comply with the orders, ... Two people were illegal immigrants who now face deportation proceedings."[7]

Massachusetts: New Bedford

On March 6, 2007, ICE agents raided Michael Bianco Inc., a New Bedford, Massachusetts, leather factory, and arrested 361 workers, "most of whom were women", who "were producing safety vests and backpacks for the U.S. military. ... ICE moved to detain and deport most of the workers almost immediately." Over the next two days, approximately 50 were released and the rest were taken to the Fort Devens, Massachusetts "decommissioned military fort" for temporary detention.[8][9]

ICE then loaded the "detainees onto buses and flew them across the country. [Approximately 200] of the detainees were transferred to facilities in south Texas, where they were far from their families, communities, and the fleet of pro bono lawyers who were willing to represent the group who came to be known as 'the New Bedford detainees.'"[10]

Approximately 90 remained in New England, with some released on bond and about 50 still in detention, "housed in local county jails, where ICE rents space. ICE detainees are often housed with U.S. citizens who are facing trial for criminal charges or serving sentences for criminal convictions."[11]

Massachusetts: Worcester

Between June 11 and June 22, 2007, thirty-six Worcester-area immigrants were "arrested and charged with being in the country illegally, including 17 convicted of crimes including rape of a child, assault and battery on a child, and failure to register as a sex offender."[12]

"Those arrested came from Albania, Brazil, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Kenya, Laos, Liberia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Uruguay, and Thailand, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said.

"They include 14 lawful permanent residents of the US who had been convicted of crimes, 16 immigrants who had flouted deportation orders, two immigrants who reentered the country after being deported, and four immigrants charged with being in the country illegally, three of whom had been convicted of crimes, officials said."[13]

Missouri: Butterfield

In late May 2007, ICE agents raided George's Processing Inc., a poultry plant in the rural town of Butterfield in Barry County in southwest Missouri, and "arrested more than 100 workers ... most of whom were from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador" believed to be illegal immigrants. Those arrested were taken to "detention facilities" in Kansas City, St. Louis and Wichita, Kansas.[14][15]

North Carolina: Bladen County

On August 22, 2007, it was reported[16] that Federal officials were "conducting immigration raids in Bladen County" and at the Smithfield Foods "pork slaughterhouse"[16] which resulted in 28 arrests: "Eight people were arrested at the Smithfield packing plant, while 20 others were taken from their homes in surrounding neighborhoods. ... Out of the arrestees, 25 are Mexican, two are Guatemalan and one is Honduran; 13 are women and 15 are men."[17]

"This is the second time this year that employees of the Smithfield plant, which is the world's largest pork slaughterhouse, have been the target of immigration raids.

"In January [2007], 21 employees were arrested on the job. After those arrests, the company fired more than 500 workers whose Social Security numbers didn't match up with federal records."[16]

"Members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) say the raids contribute to the fear of workers at the plant as they try to unionize."[17]

Ohio: Fairfield

On August 28, 2007, "about 300 agents or officers from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Fairfield police and Butler County Sheriff's deputies surrounded" the chicken plant of Koch Foods, which "was being investigated for federal crimes including encouraging, inducing or harboring illegal aliens",[18] "at 4100 Port Union Road" in Fairfield.[19] "All 161 people taken into custody ... have been identified as illegal aliens. ... The detainees are from eight different countries, including Mexico, Guatemala and Peru."[20]

"Brian Moskowitz, special agent in charge of the raid, said 160 of the 180 people questioned were arrested. Some were charged with state felonies such as falsifying documents; others face federal ID theft and fraud charges.

"Other raids at two Koch Foods buildings in Chicago retrieved records, but did not result in any arrests, Moskowitz said. 'ICE agents are executing criminal search warrants,' he said.

"Immigration spokesman Richard Rocha said the operation was the end result of a two-year investigation."[19]

Oregon: Portland

On June 12, 2007, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) personnel "raided the offices" of Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. in Portland, Oregon[21], an Arab-owned fruit and vegetable processing plant "which, although using the Del Monte brand, is a separate entity from the Del Monte Foods Company." Fresh Del Monte was incorporated August 29, 1996, in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, and is "registered at Walker’s House, Mary Street, George Town."[22]

The company is "suspected of employing hundreds of illegal workers who used Social Security numbers that belonged to other people or were made up." More than 165 detained workers will be sent to a processing facility in Tukwila, Washington, before being transferred to the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington, for possible deportation, pending an appearance before an immigration judge, and "three people were indicted on immigration, illegal documents and identity theft charges."[23]

According to ICE, "a check of employee records at one point showed that only 48 of nearly 600 workers at the fruit and vegetable processing plant had valid Social Security numbers." The June 12, 2007, raid "involved fewer workers because of seasonal employment changes and shift work ..."[24]

Fresh Del Monte Inc. "employs more than 37,000 employees worldwide, has 25 facilities in the USA and a $3.2 billion a year turnover. In 2006 they hired about 3,000 temporary workers, many of them in the Portland factory. ...

"Staffing at the plant is the responsibility of a US recruitment company, American Staffing Resources Inc, whose offices were also raided." Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. stated in a news release that "the company was not involved in staffing the plant and indicated that Fresh Del Monte was not a target for the current investigations.

"However, this is contradicted by an official statement from a member of the investigating team, which suggests that both companies might have engaged in a criminal conspiracy that included manufacturing fake documents for illegal immigrants."[25]

Pennsylvania: Allentown

On June 21, 2007, "81 suspected illegal immigrants" were arrested "during a raid at [the Iridium Industries Inc.'s Artube division] manufacturing plant in the Poconos. The company said an agency that provides temporary workers was responsible." All the arrested immigrants "from Mexico, Indonesia, Malaysia and Ecuador, were taken to detention centers for processing" and "have been placed in removal proceedings for eventual deportation."[26]


In December 2006, federal agents raided meatpacking plants in six states owned by Swift & Co., a Greeley, Colorado, company "that bills itself as the world's second-largest beef and pork processor", and "more than 1,200 immigrant workers were arrested."[27]

Operation FALCON: 2005-2006

Although three massive national roundups in 2005 and 2006 carried out under the umbrella of Operation FALCON resulted in the arrest of more than 30,000 fugitives on outstanding warrants, it is unknown how many of those were illegal immigrants or what has happened to them.

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. Paul Bass, "Feds Sweep Fair Haven," New Haven Independent (CT), June 6, 2007.
  2. "Illegal immigrants arrested 2 days after Connecticut city approves ID cards," Associated Press (PR-Inside), June 7, 2007.
  3. "Illegal immigrants arrested 2 days after Connecticut city approves ID cards," Associated Press (PR-Inside), June 7, 2007.
  4. "Illegal immigrants arrested 2 days after Connecticut city approves ID cards," Associated Press (PR-Inside), June 7, 2007.
  5. Nathan Thornburgh, "Immigration: The Case for Amnesty," TIME Magazine, June 7, 2007.
  6. Richard Rainey, "38 nabbed in immigration raid," The Times Picayune, May 17, 2007.
  7. "Immigration raid targets Nantucket workers," Associated Press (Boston Globe), June 20, 2007.
  8. Brett Murphy, "Federal judge rejects Massachusetts return bid by immigration detainees," Jurist, May 10, 2007.
  9. Mary Holper, "The Anatomy of an Immigration Raid," New America Media, May 21, 2007.
  10. Mary Holper, "The Anatomy of an Immigration Raid," New America Media, May 21, 2007.
  11. Mary Holper, "The Anatomy of an Immigration Raid," New America Media, May 21, 2007.
  12. Michael Levenson, "Immigration raid nets 36 arrests," Boston Globe, June 26, 2007.
  13. Michael Levenson, "Immigration raid nets 36 arrests," Boston Globe, June 26, 2007.
  14. "Immigration raid at poultry plant," St. Louis Today, May 24, 2007.
  15. Michael Sung, "Federal agents arrest over 100 for immigration violations in Missouri raid," Jurist, May 23, 2007.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Kristin Collins, "Immigration raid targets Smithfield Foods," News & Observer, August 22, 2007.
  17. 17.0 17.1 "Smithfield Immigration Raid," WECT TV 6, August 23, 2007.
  18. "Immigration raids Koch Foods Ohio chicken plant," Reuters, August 29, 2007.
  19. 19.0 19.1 "Agents nab 180 in raid of plant," Hamilton Journal News (The Cincinnati Post), August 29, 2007.
  20. "Feds: All detained illegal," The [Cincinnati] Enquirer, August 29, 2007.
  21. "Fresh Del Monte confirms immigration visit at Portland facility," Reuters, June 13, 2007.
  22. "US Federal agents make arrests at Cayman-based company," Cayman Net News, June 15, 2007.
  23. "More than 165 arrested in immigration raid. Workers at an Oregon food processing plant are held for possible deportation. Mayor criticizes the arrests," Associated Press (Los Angeles Times), June 13, 2007.
  24. "More than 165 arrested in immigration raid. Workers at an Oregon food processing plant are held for possible deportation. Mayor criticizes the arrests," Associated Press (Los Angeles Times), June 13, 2007.
  25. "US Federal agents make arrests at Cayman-based company," Cayman Net News, June 15, 2007.
  26. "Immigration Raid Nets 81 at Pa. Plant," Associated Press (Guardian (UK)), June 21, 2007.
  27. "13 Former Swift Workers Sentenced," Associated Press (Forbes), June 14, 2007.

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