On August 28, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents descended on a trailer-manufacturing business in Sumner, Texas. The business was being scrutinized as part of an ongoing investigation being conducted by Homeland Security, and the successful raid amassed at least 150 arrests.
This operation is considered one of the largest single-site raids within the last ten years. More than 300 federal agents were involved in the raid including authorities from New Orleans, San Antonio and Houston.
Homeland Security initially learned about the Texas-based company when they received anonymous tips that the business was intentionally hiring undocumented immigrants for cheap labor. Tipsters told authorities that many workers were utilizing fraudulent identification documents.
ICE agents are aware that many businesses intentionally hire illegal or undocumented workers to gain an unfair advantage over other companies who spend money on hiring and properly paying legitimate workers. According to ICE, such actions both take away jobs from U.S. citizens and creates an atmosphere where potential exploitation of the workforce is likely.
The raid on Load Trail, the manufacturing company, netted around 150 arrests. Each individual was taken into custody, arrested, fingerprinted and processed. All individuals who are found to be illegally working for Load Trail will be immediately processed for removal from the country. The criminal investigation into the worksite and workers could take months or even years to complete. Back in 2014, the company was charged with hiring at least 179 illegal workers. The resulting criminal investigations gave rise to a $445,000 fine. Despite these punishments, it appears the company has reverted back to hiring undocumented workers.