In what is billed as the largest bust in western North Carolina, ICE took into custody 59 illegal aliens who making parachutes for the U.S. armed forces at the Mills Manufacturing Corp. in Woodfin, North Carolina. A related ICE press release suggests the enforcement action neutralized a potential national security vulnerability.
The 40 women and 19 men arrested for using fraudulent Social Security numbers comprise one-third of the company’s workforce. 29 were released on their own recognizance pending a hearing for family or other humanitarian reasons. None have been criminally charged yet. Most of the arrestees were from Mexico although some came from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Ecuador.
ICE says Mills has cooperated in its investigation and is not suspected of wrongdoing at this point. Mills CEO John Oswald claims the company was fooled by fraudulent documents provided by the illegal aliens. The Ashville Citizen-Times quotes Oswald as saying, “It’s very, very challenging. We’re only allowed to look at so many documents. There is a new system called E-Verify, to make sure they are who they say they are.”
ICE targeted the company because, as a defense contractor, it provides services crucial to national security. Mills is one of the government contractors that will be required under the President's executive order to use E-Verify to check worker eligibility.
Updated: Wed, Jul 5th 2017 @ 2:33pm EDT