ICE Busts Managers Aiding Illegal Aliens at a Chicken Plant
Earlier this month the Clarion Ledger reported that four managers at a chicken plant were charged for allegedly providing aid to illegal aliens to live and work in Mississippi.
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi Mike Hurst held a news conference on August 6, 2020 at the federal courthouse in Jackson to announce the indictments concerning his office’s investigation of the Mississippi chicken processing plants, which ICE raided in 2019.
Back in August 7, 2019, agents arrested 680 immigrant workers during raids conducted in seven chicken processing plants in Central Mississippi. This case was the largest immigration enforcement operation conducted in a single state in American history. Hurst stated that the managers who received indictments were not arrested on the day of the raids.
The four indictments announced against the managers are the first of their kind for any company bosses. Beginning in August of 2019, more than 100 workers received indictments for crimes related to immigration.
“I am pro-legal immigration all day long. Immigrants built this country. Immigrants made this country strong,” Hurst declared, but people who enter illegally “deserve prosecution” in his view.
Hurst did not reveal any punishment or indictments for leading executives at the companies who ran the chicken plants. However, he did hint that such charges could be coming.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day and most prosecutions of immigration crimes are not completed in just one year,” Hurst commented. “…Prosecuting immigration crimes is incredibly complex. It’s time intensive. It’s a heavy lift for investigative resources.”
According to the Clarion Ledger, Hurst listed several details about the indictments:
Salvador Delgado-Nieves, 57, of Pelahatchie, worked at A&B Inc., which was associated with the MP Foods plant in Pelahatchie
- Charged with three counts of undocumented immigrants, three counts of assisting undocumented immigrants in falsifying them to be U.S. Citizens and obtaining false social security cards and one count of making false statements to law enforcement by denying he had hired undocumented immigrants
- Faces up to 74 years in federal prison and a $2.5 million fine
Iris Villalon, 44, of Ocean Springs, worked at A&B Inc.
- Charged with one count of harboring undocumented immigrants, one count of making false statements and one count of causing false employer quarterly wage reports when she knew false social security numbers were represented
- Faces up to 20 years in prison and $750,000 in fines
Carolyn Johnson, 50, of Kosciusko, worked at Pearl River Foods in Carthage as a human resources manager
- Charged with six counts of harboring undocumented immigrants, one count of wire fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft related to a grant from the state of Mississippi for reimbursement for on-the-job training of employees
- Faces up to 84 years in prison and $2.25 million in fines
Aubrey “Bart” Willis, 39, of Flowery Branch, Georgia, was a manager at Pearl River Foods
Charged with five counts of harboring undocumented immigrants
Faces up to 50 years in prison and $1.25 million in fines
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Deputy Director Matthew Albence revealed at the conference that the investigation has yielded a total of 126 indictments and 73 convictions at the moment.
Hurst kicked off the conference by highlighting cases of identity fraud.
“What was lost in all the sensational news stories last year, highlighting members of illegal aliens who have violated our laws, what were lost were those American citizens who have been victimized by this wrongdoing,” he commented.
Hurst recounted that the identity fraud victims consisted of an 8-year-old boy, a teen attempting to join the U.S. Navy, and a woman with mental health complications who was stripped of her social security benefits and medicine due to fraud.
“These are real world, real people, real lives who were being threatened, who were being harmed and who were being victimized by those who seek to violate our immigration laws,” Hurst remarked.
Albence declared that illegal immigration is “not a victimless crime and feeds criminality” by lining the pockets of human traffickers who smuggle people across the border.
Since Donald Trump was elected, immigration has morphed into one of the biggest issues in American politics.
Border control is essential for maintaining national sovereignty. A county that is unable to maintain national sovereignty is one that is on the way to political dysfunction.