Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agents questioned employees and seized employment documents today as part of an ongoing investigation at Load Trail, a Sumner, Texas-based manufacturer of vehicle trailers. As potential repeat offenders, owners and managers could face criminal charges and steep fines.
Katrina Berger, Special Agent in Charge of ICE's Homeland Security Investigations' Dallas office, said her agency received information that Load Trail may have knowingly hired illegal aliens, and that many of the aliens employed at Load Trail were using fraudulent identification documents. In 2014 paid, the company paid a $445,000 fine for employing 179 illegal aliens.
“Businesses that knowingly hire illegal aliens create an unfair advantage over their competing businesses,” said Berger. “In addition, they take jobs away from U.S. citizens and legal residents, and they create an atmosphere poised for exploiting their illegal workforce.”
HSI arrested more than 100 company employees on federal immigration violations who were unlawfully working in the United States. Others were released on their own recognizance.
One company insider told WFAA News, “It was just greed. Flat out in the end, greed because here they were a very successful company and could have been very successful just where they were, not hiring any illegals, but that wasn’t enough.”
More than 300 federal agents and support staff are taking part in the investigation, which was coordinated with federal, state and local counterparts including the following agencies: U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas; ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations; U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Border Patrol, CBP Air and Marine Operations; officers from the Texas Department of Public Safety also provided traffic support.
Read more in the Dallas Morning News.
Updated: Tue, Sep 11th 2018 @ 6:00pm EDT