U.S. immigration agents arrested 114 illegals at a landscaping company in Ohio Tuesday marking one of the largest employer stings in recent years.
The arrests happened at two locations of Corso’s Flower & Garden Center, one in Sandusky and another in nearby Castalia. Criminal charges have not been filed against the employer but U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says the criminal aliens face charges of identity theft and tax evasion, according to the Associated Press.
In April, ICE agents arrested nearly 100 illegals at a meatpacking plant in Tennessee. In that case, charges were not filed against the employer.
About 100 law enforcement officials, aided by aerial surveillance, carried out the sweep on Tuesday at the Castalia location.
Corso’s describes itself as a family-owned company doing business in seven states with a 160,000-square-foot greenhouse and an additional 200,000 square feet growing facility.
Josie Gonzalez, a Los Angeles attorney who represents businesses on immigration matters, told the AP, “Government is overreaching and trying to make a big splash, instill fear in the business community and immigrant communities and make the headlines.”
The investigation into Corso’s began in October 2017 when the U.S. Border Patrol arrested a woman who gave stolen identity documents to illegals, according to the AP.
The document peddler led investigators to Corso’s, where they found many Social Security numbers belonged to dead people.
313 employees were examined and 123 were found suspicious and targeted for arrest.
“Immigration officials have sharply increased audits of companies to verify their employees are authorized to work in the country. There were 2,282 employer audits opened between Oct. 1 and May 4, nearly a 60 percent jump from the 1,360 audits opened between October 2016 and September 2017. Many of those reviews were launched after audits began at 100 7-Eleven franchises in 17 states in January,” the AP reports.
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