Friday, March 30, 2007

Baltimore Area Immigration Raids

ICE officials raided several businesses in the DC/Baltimore area this week. A total of 69 workers from Latin America and Africa were detained yesterday after raids on nine businesses that used a Baltimore-based temporary employment agency. The agency had been suspected of providing undocumented immigrants, ICE officials said.

ICE agents also seized the $600,000 bank account of Jones Industrial Network, the employment agency that allegedly supplied undocumented workers to local firms that included the sportswear manufacturer Under Armour and bonded warehouses in or near the Port of Baltimore.

For many years, employers who have wanted to benefit from undocumented labor have used employment agencies like Jones Industrial Network. It's a beautiful and simple way to get around the immigration laws: the employer can claim that the company authorized that the worker was legal (and thus be off the hook for breaking the law).

Because they had allegedly authorized the employment of the undocumented workers, ICE authorities said the Jones firm was the sole target of their criminal investigation because it bore responsibility for determining the legal status of workers it provided under contract. The Washington Post reports that no Jones officials faced arrest or charges yesterday. The question is,
will they ever?


Anonymous said...

With the ease of obtaining false documents, how is the company supposed to know? I know the members of the company personally and they are honest people. Maybe the government should spend more time sitting on the borders!!

Deb said...

The company can know the same way the employment agency can know--they can ask for documents and then check those documents with ICE. The simple truth is that is much easier to say "Oh my! I just didn't know." The problem with our immigration system is not how we police the border (the border is more strickly enforced now that it ever has been), it's how we do not police employeers.

If honest business owners knew that they, too, might face jail time for hiring the undocumented, the undocumented employment problem would decrease dramatically.

donsanchez said...

I think thats right. These business owners are not scared of jail time. I believe that mentality of the US business owner is a direct reflection of the US government. Cheap labor and more profit is all they care about. I have read somewhere that half of the people cleaning and rebuilding New Orleans are mexicans. Do we really believe that most of them are not illegals. The system is backwards.

donsanchez said...

Business owners could care less about documented workers. The US business and gov't mentality is cheap labor and more profits, its not a secret. The US gov't is not going to punish these people because they are part of it. They contract cheap labor as well.