February 4th, 2008 05:11 EST
Rich Chicago suburb harbors illegal aliens
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL - Seventeen illegal alien workers from Mexico, who worked for a packaging company here, were arrested yesterday morning by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents.
Cano Packaging Corp., a company providing packaging services for the confections and food industry located at 600 W. University Drive, Arlington Heights, employed all 17 Mexican nationals arrested Feb. 27. Of those arrested, nine are male and eight are female. All are currently in ICE custody and will be placed into deportation proceedings for violating U.S. immigration laws.
ICE initiated the investigation into Cano Packaging in October 2006 after receiving information that a large number of illegal aliens were employed there. It's also standard procedure for ICE agents to investigate how the illegal workers aliens entered the country and how they obtained employment.
"ICE aggressively enforces our nation's immigration laws, and we are significantly enhancing our worksite enforcement efforts as part of our interior immigration enforcement strategy," said Elissa A. Brown, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Chicago. Brown oversees a six-state region that includes: Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri and Wisconsin.
During fiscal year 2006, ICE arrested 718 individuals on criminal charges in worksite investigations and apprehended another 3,667 illegal workers on immigration violations, more than a three-fold increase over 2005.
This worksite enforcement operation is part of the Secure Border Initiative (SBI), a comprehensive multi-year plan by the Department of Homeland Security to secure America's borders and reduce illegal migration. Under SBI, Homeland Security seeks to gain operational control of both the northern and southern borders, while re-engineering the detention and removal system to ensure that illegal aliens are removed from the country quickly and efficiently. SBI also involves strong interior enforcement efforts, including enhanced worksite enforcement investigations and intensified efforts to track down and remove illegal aliens inside this country.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced a new initiative to help employers ensure they are building legal workforce through voluntary partnerships with the government. Called the ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers (IMAGE), the program is designed to build cooperative relationships between government and businesses to strengthen hiring practices and reduce unlawful employment of illegal aliens. The initiative also seeks to accomplish greater industry compliance and corporate due diligence through enhanced federal training and education of employers. ICE strongly encourages employers to review IMAGE program materials at www.ice.gov.
This is an ongoing investigation.