According to a report from, the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency went into six Swift & Co. plants on Tuesday morning. The agents began interviewing all employees, suspending all operations until the interview process is completed. Estimates are that the process will take all day. 
Sam Rovit, Swift chief executive, said the raids violate the company's agreements with the Federal government under the Basic Pilot worker authorization program. Under this program, Swift verifies worker eligibility by checking worker information against on-line government databases. Rovit also said that the government actions may violate individual workers' civil rights. The company had not yet filed any charges. 

"Swift has played by the rules and relied in good faith on a program explicitly held out by the President of the United States as an effective tool to help employers comply with applicable immigration laws," Rovit said.

The affected plants include all of Swift's beef operations and 77 percent of its pork units. The plants are located in Cactus, Tex.; Grand Island, Neb.; Greeley, Colo.; Hyrum, Utah; Marshalltown, Iowa; and Worthington, Minn.

Swift pointed out that if a "substantial number of workers" are removed from plants, full production will not be possible until they are replaced.