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ICE Busts 133 Immigrants at Employers Accused of Cheating Them

August 18, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

O’NEILL, Neb.Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents raided 13 businesses in Nebraska and Minnesota Aug. 8, arresting 14 owners and managers on charges of exploiting immigrants—and 133 “illegal workers” for immigration violations, the Department of Homeland Security announced. Special agent in charge Tracy Cormier told the Associated Press that the raids, which involved more than 350 federal, state, and local law-enforcement officers, may have been the largest in the department’s history. ICE said the businesses conspired to employ people in the country illegally and used the threat of deportation to exploit them, such as by keeping taxes deducted from their pay and charging them exorbitant fees for cashing their checks. It said it released several of the immigrants arrested on humanitarian grounds, but others would be kept in custody while awaiting deportation proceedings. In the prairie town of O’Neill, where the raids hit a tomato-growing operation and a Mexican restaurant and grocery, about 50 people protested that afternoon. “I had a lot of friends’ family get taken,” a U.S.-born high-school student told Nebraska Educational Television. “I thought I was going to lose my parents today. Too bad they didn’t go to work today, so, good news for me.” Read more

August 18, 2018

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