[JURIST] US federal agents with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General [official websites] conducted a joint raid [ICE press release] on a poultry processing plant owned by George's Processing Inc. in Butterfield, Missouri Tuesday, arresting more than 100 employees for immigration violations. Pete Baird, the agent in charge of the Kansas City, Missouri ICE office, said that "these worksite enforcement actions help reduce the job magnet that encourages aliens to enter the country illegally" and added that the raid was conducted as a part of an identity theft and false document investigation. ICE spokesperson Tim Counts said that no charges have been filed against George's Processing, and did not say whether the poultry processing plant was aware that it was hiring undocumented workers. According to the US Census Bureau figures for 2005, Butterfield is home to approximately 416 residents [CB materials].
The raid is a part of a recent effort by ICE officials to arrest and deport undocumented immigrants, and comes amid debate in the US Senate concerning a controversial immigration reform proposal [JURIST report; JURIST news archive] that, if approved, would provide temporary work visas to up to 600,000 workers. In March, 360 people were arrested by ICE agents [JURIST report] in Massachusetts in a raid at Michael Bianco Inc., a leather factory that makes equipment for the US military. AP has more.