Illegal employees escaped several food processing plants in Georgia last week after widely publicized raids on five plants in Mississippi by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
This month, in five food processing facilities in Mississippi, ICE agents carried out the biggest operation in more than a decade and netted the arrests of 680 illegal aliens. That same day, however, ICE officials said they released some 300 illegal workers for “humanitarian grounds” back to the United States, according to Breitbart..
More than 200 of the illegal aliens had previous records and a federal criminal investigation is anticipated to result in employers’ convictions at the factory. The operation has already led to job fairs in certain crops seeking to recruit local residents.
According to reports from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, this ICE operation has spurred illegal workers to flee their jobs in Hall County, Georgia—where many food processing plants operate—in fear of being arrested for illegally working in the country.
Jerry Gonzalez, with the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, informed the Journal that food processing plant employees who fled their jobs after the ICE operation in Mississippi demonstrated that employers illegally hired aliens.
“Thursday’s walk-out is evidence of the presence of undocumented workers in those plants,” Gonzalez said. “Without a doubt there are undocumented workers in Georgia’s agriculture industry. Even if they use E-Verify—the plants in Mississippi used E-Verify. That doesn’t mean they’re not using undocumented workers,” he said.
While it is uncertain which food processing plants in Hall County saw their illegal employees fleeing after the Mississippi ICE operation, the region is home to plants such as Gainsville’s Koch Foods, Victory Foods, Koch Meat Inc., and Cargill Inc.
One of the five plants ICE entered was the Mississippi plant for Koch Foods. The plant is not connected with the billionaire Koch brothers. Federal affidavits claim that Koch Foods has a lengthy history of exploiting and hiring illegals.
As Breitbart News reported, in the previous year, only 11 employers and no companies were prosecuted by the feds for employing illegal aliens despite almost 8 million illegal alien workers holding jobs in U.S. companies.