Immigration agents descended on an Ohio gardening and landscaping company on May 5 and what resulted was “utter chaos.” Over 200 federal agents detained an overwhelming 100 workers.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, the government has been receiving multiple tips regarding the company, Corso’s Flower and Garden Center, for years. The agency began to pursue these tips beginning in October. Investigators decided to audit the company, and they found that at least 123 employee records were suspicious. At least 100 employees had noticeable documentation issues such as false identification or duplicate Social Security numbers.
In response, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency raided Corso’s. Agents decided to surround the area and block off nearby streets to prevent individuals from escaping. Helicopters flew overhead to monitor the raid and lead agents on the ground. At the end of the raid, 114 workers were arrested and detained at ICE detention centers. All the workers are suspected of being in the country illegally, and officials will likely pursue criminal charges of identity theft and tax evasion on the workers.
Social media activists were unhappy with the government’s decision to raid the company. According to local sources, dozens of children were stranded with babysitters or at day-care centers when their parents never returned for them.
Thomas D. Homan, the head of ICE, explains that their agency’s increasingly aggressive efforts are meant to serve as both a deterrent for future illegal immigration and a protective measure for American workers. Corso’s, the raided company, has resumed its operations, but they haven’t commented on the raid yet.