APRIL 02, 2009
More than two dozen illegal immigrants arrested for using fake documents to work at a Washington state engine plant have been released by the Department of Homeland Security and offered legal U.S. employment permits.
The February immigration raid infuriated Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano who blasted Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials and ordered a swift investigation into the worksite operation because it violated Barack Obama’s promise to the influential “La Raza” movement—that undocumented workers won’t be arrested.
Now a major news organization reports that 27 of the 28 illegal aliens arrested have been freed and issued official government Employment Authorization Documents so they can return to work. The temporary work permits are traditionally reserved for those who legally apply to be U.S. residents or citizens and not for violators of federal law.
ICE conducted the raid at the engine plant in the northwest Washington city of Bellingham after a pair of gang members tipped agents off. Upon investigating the information, officials confirmed that the factory employed dozens of undocumented workers, many of them with fake or stolen Social Security numbers and other counterfeit documents.
Napolitano, who as Arizona governor vetoed numerous laws to curb illegal immigration, subsequently suspended all similar enforcement operations. The Homeland Security chief also cancelled a series of scheduled immigration enforcement actions, including plans to raid businesses at a Chicago military facility where as many as 100 illegal immigrants work.
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