MAY 23, 2007
Confirming that illegal immigrants often commit serious crimes after entering the United States, more than 100 were arrested for using the stolen identities of legal residents to work at a big poultry plant in a rural Missouri town.
Federal agents arrested the illegal aliens this week at George’s Processing Plant in Butterfield, a village of about 400 residents in southwest Missouri. The plant actually employs more than twice the town’s population, about 1,000, and many are illegal aliens who used fake documents to obtain work.
Federal agents say the arrested illegal immigrants – from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador – used “legitimate” drivers’ licenses and Social Security numbers purchased fraudulently from a dealer.
An Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent who participated in the year-long identity theft investigation said that this case is particularly troubling due to the existence of Social Security and identity fraud in addition to the numerous immigration-related violations.
This is hardly an isolated case. Thousands of illegal immigrants across the nation have been arrested in the last few months for stealing the identities of Americans to obtain jobs. Since December federal agents have arrested violators at meat-packing plants in six states and many of them had pre existing criminal warrants for other serious offenses.
Victims of their identity theft crimes include unemployed at-home mothers who received large tax bills for jobs in other states held by illegal immigrants who stole their Social Security numbers.
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