Friday, March 30, 2007
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?