Massive Immigration Raid | Immigration agents arrest 114 in sting in Ohio, one of the largest in recent years.— William Negrón (@william_negron) June 5, 2018
Masiva Redada Migratoria | Agentes de ICE arrestan a 114 inmigrantes en una compañía de jardinería en Ohio. Es una de las redadas más grandes en el gobierno de Trump pic.twitter.com/7CMkyGOrfh
An Ohio landscaping company had 114 of its employees arrested during the largest Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid the country has seen in recent years.
The Tuesday raid targeted Corso’s Flower & Garden Center locations in Castalia and Sandusky. According to ICE spokesman Khaalid Walls, the company is under investigation.
Potential charges against the landscaping firm include tax evasion and identity theft.
Immigration agents learned about the possibility that Corso’s had been hiring undocumented immigrants in October 2017. A woman arrested by the U.S. Border Patrol had given undocumented immigrants stolen identity documents for job application use. Many of the Social Security numbers used in these documents belonged to dead people.
Prior to the raid, officials rehearsed the operation, expecting some commotion due to the high number of people. At the Castalia location, which is covered with trees, greenhouse tarps, and a variety of plants and flowers, 100 law enforcement agents surrounded the location. Police told employees what they were there for. While agents expected that some employees would try to flee, no one did.
As employees were “rounded up,” Fox News reports, agents “armed with submachine guns” stood guard.
This raid is part of the President Donald Trump administration’s plan to target employers, but it's not the first time a large operation has taken place under Trump.
In April, about 100 workers were arrested at a rural Tennessee meatpacking plant.
Additionally, between October 2017 and May 2018, agents opened 2,282 audits into employers suspected of having hired undocumented workers, a 60 percent jump from the 1,360 audits opened between October 2016 and September 2017.
It’s clear that this raid is not going to be the last of its kind under Trump. After all, he promised his base he would be tough on immigration. Unfortunately, these are men and women who are not stealing or killing. They are working and, oftentimes, taking on jobs Americans aren’t willing to do.
It’s truly embarrassing to know U.S. law enforcement would forego tackling real crimes to arrest individuals who are simply trying to make ends meet.
Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Reuters/Mike Blake