Wednesday, April 19, 2006

immigration raids?

wish-tv is reporting that "a roundup of dozens of immigrants" has been arrested, handcuffed, and taken downtown on buses to immigration offices, right here in indianapolis. wish reports that, according to a customs spokesman, this raid was part of "an ongoing worksite enforcement investigation" with details forthcoming tomorrow.

wish also names ifco systems as one of the employers that was raided.

i can't find the story on the wish website or elsewhere online, suggesting this story is still breaking. by tomorrow, if not within a couple hours, there should be more info about the indy raids online. however, i did find an article about similar raids today other ifco facilities in evendale, ohio (outside cincinnati), houston, charlotte, and elsewhere.

clearly this isn't an isolated incident but a nationwide crackdown on ifco systems (and possibly other employers). but still i must wonder about the timing. this happened right on the heels of massive, highly successful immigration protests. it's hard to ignore the feeling that this was a stunt to demonstrate that the government is serious about immigration.

update: an AP story about the indy raids has hit the wire. not a lot of new information there.

another factor is that clearly the government is going after ifco systems and not just the undocumented immigrants employed there. apparently a token number of ifco managers have already been arrested:

According to the US Attorney's office, seven current and former managers of IFCO Systems North America were arrested on Wednesday in connection with the company's employment of illegal immigrants. The defendants arrested on charges of conspiracy to transport, harbor, and encourage unlawful aliens to reside in the United States, for commercial advantage and private financial gain include:

* ROBERT BELVIN, 43, of Clifton Park, NY
* DARIO SALZANO, 36, of Amsterdam, NY
* SCOTT DODGE, 43, of Albany, NY
* ABELINO CHICAS, 40, of Houston, TX
* JAMES RICE, 36, of Houston, TX
* WILLIAM HOSKINS, 29, of Cincinnati, OH
* MICHAEL AMES, 44, of Shrewsbury, MA

The conspiracy charge carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, for each alien with respect to whom the violation takes place. In addition to the arrests, agents executed search warrants at the IFCO plants in Guilderland, New York; Cincinnati, Ohio; Westborough, Massachusetts; Richmond, Virginia; and Biglerville, Pennsylvania, and at three residences in Guilderland, New York. The IFCO satellite locations within the Target Distribution Centers in Amsterdam, New York and Wilton, New York were also targets of the ICE operation on Wednesday.

we probably won't get much more information until tomorrow after ICE (immigration and customs enforcement, formerly known as INS) lays out its new plan for pursuing companies that hire undocumented workers.

update: the wish story is now up, with a blatant typo in the second sentence. oops. the indy star also has a piece with some good new information.


arratik said...

hey, guess who got the no-bid contract to build all of the new prisons that will be needed to house these immigrants?

i'm pretty sure you guessed it already...

Anonymous said...

Hi, any updates on the IFCO situation in Albany, NY?

Anonymous said...

Hi, any updates on the IFCO situation in Albany, NY?