SALEM, Ohio – The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) executed search warrants at four Fresh Mark meat processing locations in Ohio and made 146 arrests at the company’s Salem, Ohio, location for immigration violations.
The arrests are a culmination of a year-long investigation into evidence that Fresh Mark willfully and knowingly hired illegal aliens using identification that belonged to US citizens.
The Northern District of Ohio’s U.S. Attorney’s Office; US Border Patrol, ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations; US Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations; HSI Detroit and Chicago Special Response Teams, Salem Police Department and the Columbiana County Sheriff’s Office all participated in the execution of the action.
During the June 19 action, several individuals were processed and released from custody the same day as a result of humanitarian considerations, such as health and family considerations. Detainees are being housed in facilities in both Ohio and Michigan.
Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), which represents Fresh Mark employees, called the raids an “…egregious show of force,” in a statement.
“We are outraged by the actions of Donald Trump,” Appelbaum said. “One hundred and forty people couldn't go home to their families last night, and their children were left on their own to fend for themselves – that is unconscionable.”
Appelbaum went on to say the RWDSU stands with all immigrant workers trying to support their families and better their lives.
“The RWDSU is committed to assisting workers affected by this ICE raid and will continue to fight against any and all heartless attacks on immigrant workers seeking to provide for their families,” he added.