Federal authorities announced charges Thursday against four executives they said were responsible for hiring hundreds of illegal immigrants at poultry processing plants in Mississippi.
Last year’s raids on the plants drew national headlines with more than 600 illegal immigrants nabbed — and officials at the time had promised that they were building a case against company higher-ups who oversaw using the illegal labor.
The managers were charged with lying to federal officers, facilitating false documents and, most strikingly, harboring illegal immigrants.
“Companies who intentionally or knowingly base their business model on an illegal workforce deprive law-abiding citizens and lawful immigrants of employment opportunities, which are especially critical as our economy looks to recover from the challenges faced by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Matthew T. Albence, chief at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The Aug. 7, 2019, raids on seven poultry plants was the largest immigration enforcement action in history.