53 employees plead guilty in Texas immigration case — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

53 employees plead guilty in Texas immigration case

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Richard B. Roper, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Texas, recently announced that six more former Swift & Co. employees pleaded guilty to document fraud and illegal entry into the country.

According to Roper’s statement, all 53 defendants have now pleaded guilty. Four of the final six pleaded guilty to one count of fraud in connection with an immigration document and now face 10-year prison sentences and $250,000 fines. The other two former employees pleaded guilty to unlawful entry by an illegal alien and each face up to six months in prison and a $5,000 fine.

The charges stem from an immigration enforcement sweep at a meat-processing plant in the panhandle town of Cactus, which took place on Dec. 12, 2006. It was part of a nationwide Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid in which agents swept through six Swift & Co. meat-processing plants and took in approximately 1,300 suspected illegal immigrants. In January, a federal grand jury charged 53 workers from the plant with aggravated identity theft and related charges.

Final tip: As Congress debates the most sweeping immigration reform bill since 1986, look for the issues to stay on the front burner over the next year. New rules for employers are anticipated with the legislation.  

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