Federal agents raided the Swift meat packing plant in Cactus this morning. Immigration and Customs Enforcement are now interviewing hundreds of employees. The raid is part of an 11-month investigation into illegal immigrants who obtained jobs by stealing the identities of U.S. citizens.
NewsChannel10 reporters have seen several busses and a helicopter at the plant, and ICE is not allowing any Tractor-Trailers to unload. Hundreds of people are being processed at this time.
The Swift meat packing plant in Cactus has been raided by the federal government as part of a national crackdown on identity theft.
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, is on site at the meat packing plant.
Five other locations in Colorado, Nebraska, Utah, Iowa, and Minnesota are also being targeted as part of "Operation Wagon Train".
ICE has been looking into those locations...for ten months.
The agency believes large numbers of illegal aliens are using social security numbers of American citizens to get jobs at the meat packing facility.
The Department of Homeland Security tells us more than 1,000 agents were involved in the nation wide crack down.
But they are not able to tell us just how many employees were arrested or questioned.
Agent Leticia Zamarripa tells us for the past 10 months the agency has been gathering information on illegal alien employees who got their job here by allegedly stealing the identities of U.S. citizens. " Those who were determined to be using fraudulent documents or those who possibly assumed the identities of U.S. citizens or legal residents, those individuals will face aggravated identity theft charges."
If families need answers or children are in need of information concerning their parents there is a toll-free number with operators in both English and Spanish to help you. 866-341-3858
We have several crews in Cactus covering all angles of this story for you. Our sister station Telemundo is also covering this breaking story on Amarillo Cable channel 16.
Swift & Co. released a statement and says today's actions by the government violate the agreements associated with the Company's participation over the past ten years in the federal government's Basic Pilot worker authorization program and raise serious questions as to the government's possible violation of individual workers' civil rights. Since the inception of the Basic Pilot program in 1997, every single one of Swift's new domestic hires, including those being interviewed today by ICE officials, has duly completed I-9 forms and has received work authorization through the government's Basic Pilot program.
At this time no charges have been brought against the company.