Federal officials arrested 146 illegal immigrants Tuesday evening in a raid on a large meat supplier in Ohio.
One hundred Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents raided four Fresh Mark facilities in Massillon, Canton and Salem, CNN reported. At a meat-packing plant in Salem ICE agents arrested 98 men and 48 women, the majority of which came to the U.S. illegally from Guatemala and obtained employment using stolen or fraudulent documentation.
Deportation proceedings are underway for the detained, with certain exceptions.
Tuesday’s raid, part of a year-long investigation into meat supplier Fresh Mark, is the largest workplace enforcement action carried out by the Trump administration, a senior ICE agent told reporters. In April, authorities arrested nearly 100 illegal immigrants at a meat-packing plant in Tennessee.
Tuesday’s move is the second large ICE raid in Ohio this month.
Earlier this month, federal law enforcement officials stormed Corso’s Flower and Garden Center facilities in Sandusky and Castalia, Ohio, and arrested 114 illegal immigrants. That raid was described at the time as “the largest in our region in the last decade” by a spokesman for ICE’s Northeastern region.
Since the start of 2018, ICE has arrested more than 600 workers without proper paperwork. The intense crackdown is part of an administrative decision to not only investigate illegal immigrants at domestic companies, but also look carefully at whether or not employers are knowingly hiring illegal aliens. Investigative action regarding Fresh Mark is still underway.
The latest ICE raid comes amid rising tensions in the national immigration debate. The Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” approach to immigration, which has resulted in family separation, has triggered outrage. The administration argues that a failure to uphold the law would essentially equate to an open border policy, threatening U.S. national security.
ICE agents have come under fire in the ongoing dispute, with some members of Antifa, a radical anti-fascist organization, doxxing ICE agents and revealing their personal information online. (RELATED: Antifa Spreads List Of ICE Agents Compiled Using LinkedIn And Blasts It Over Twitter)
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