Cargill Inc's Beardstown, Ill., pork slaughter plant is the latest to face immigration raids. The overnight raid ended on Wednesday with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arresting 62 sanitation workers. The charges involved identity theft and being in the country illegally.
According to a Cargill spokesperson, ICE agents detained employees from Quality Services Integrity -- the plant's third-party cleanup company. No direct Cargill employees were involved in the raid.
Cargill apparently cooperated with ICE in giving the agency full access to the plant. The arrests delayed operations for about three hours, reports Meatingplace.com. The Beardstown plant employs 2,200 people and processes about 18,000 hogs per day.
An ICE statement reports that the ongoing investigation "began in January. [It] revealed that most of the QSI work force was composed of illegal aliens."
QSI's human resources director told reporters his company is cooperating with ICE officials, but declined to comment further.
This raid marks the third ICE raid on a major meat processor in the last four months. Swift & Co. plants in six states, and Smithfield Packing Co.'s Tar Heel, N.C., slaughterhouse were the other packers two involved.