Feds Cracking Down on Illegal Workers and Their Employers

The government is pledging to crack down harder than ever on employers who harbor and hire illegal immigrants, pursuing companies that ignore the law so they can exploit cheap labor."We are going to move beyond the current level of activity to a higher level in each month and year to come," Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Thursday. He pledged to "come down as hard as possible" on violators. In raids that set a record for workplace-enforcement arrests in a single day, immigration officials announced this past Thursday that they had taken 1,187 illegal immigrants into custody at wood products plants in 26 states and had charged seven company managers with crimes that can carry long prison terms.

The operation targeted about 40 plants operated by IFCO Systems North America, a Dutch company based in Houston that is the largest manufacturer of wooden pallets in the country. Two California facilities were hit, with eight arrests in Bakersfield and 29 in San Bernardino.

Stories from the Associated Press and the L.A. Times.Categories: