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Email Content: Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

Koch Foods Claims ICE Raid Illegal


According to the Clarion Ledger September 4th edition, Koch Foods of Mississippi claims that the Federal government illegally searched the plant during the raid to identify illegal workers and that evidence collected should be regarded as inadmissible. The raid on August 7th netted close to 700 workers among seven processing plants operated by diverse companies. The Department of Justice is currently considering legal action against employers.

At attorney for Koch Foods, Michael Dawkins filed a motion in the U.S. District Court in Jackson, MS to exclude any documents seized from any subsequent criminal action. Dawkins stated “If this search is allowed to stand, lawful businesses across the nation that legally hire immigrants are exposed to illegal searches founded on suspicion rather than probable cause”. The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi, Mike Hurst declined to comment. A spokesman for ICE considers that the Agency “lawfully executed Federal criminal search warrants signed by a judge”.

The search warrant was based on affidavits from ex-employees of Koch Foods in Mississippi claiming that the company was knowingly hiring and employing illegal aliens. It is significant that 21 Koch employees among the 243 employees arrested at the Morton, MS plant were wearing ankle monitors while awaiting immigration hearings.

Current federal law places the onus on companies to follow procedures and rules relating to hiring all employees irrespective of national status. Companies that the federal government can prove engaged in patterns and practices of knowingly hiring undocumented immigrants can face sanctions including fines and the imprisonment of responsible officials.

Copyright 2019 Simon M. Shane