Immigration round includes raid in Polk County by Mitch E. Perry

04/20/06

A week and a half after there were major rallies supporting undocumented workers in Florida and throughout the country, and amidst a national debate about immigration, the enforcement side of the issue came back with a vengeance yesterday when seven managers of IFCO Systems NV, a maker of portable containers and pallets, were arrested, in what officials called the biggest ever worksite enforcement operation against a single employer. More than 1,100 illegal aliens were also captured during the operation, which was conducted yesterday and today in 26 states, including in Homeland, located South of Bartow in Polk County.

The U.S. will crack down on companies that hire undocumented immigrants, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff pledged today, telling businesses to expect stepped-up raids and criminal sanctions against executives.

The effort is aimed at those who are exploiting illegal aliens'' andwho adopt as a business model the systematic violation of immigration laws,'' Chertoff told reporters in Washington. The government will ``make sure we come down as hard as possible.''

Among the IFCO plants that were raided included in Homeland, located south of Bartow in Polk County. Robert Webber is a Special Agent in Charge for The Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs enforcement….He said there were approximately 60 agents who were involved in the raid in Homeland yesterday, beginning at 10 AM yesterday..He said 36 of those arrested are from Mexico, 2 from Guatamala (roll tape#1 o.q.�employ illegal aliens�)

That’s Robert Webber, Special Agent in Charge of Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He led the arrest at the IFCO systems plant in Homeland, that’s South of Bartow in Polk County, yesterday morning.

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