Earlier this month, nearly 700 illegal immigrants were arrested at several chicken processing plants in Mississippi.
While many have been released wearing ankle bracelets until their deportation hearings, the Washington Post has noted that “federal officials have reported more than 350 encounters or arrests of undocumented people who said they worked at two of the plants, Koch Foods and Peco Foods” over the last 18 years.
As authorities continue to investigate the companies involved, it has become evident that many of the undocumented immigrants stole identities from Americans—both alive and dead—the Clarion Ledger reported.
At Pearl River Foods in Carthage, agents analyzed employee rolls and found that numerous workers were using stolen identities, Social Security cards that didn’t match their names, or using Social Security cards reported to belong to dead people.
In at least two cases at Pearl River Foods, the allegedly stolen personal information came from people who discovered that someone else had applied for work under their names when they tried to apply for food assistance or unemployment benefits.
For PH Food in Morton, an employee served as a confidential informant. He told authorities the vast majority of the immigrants employed at the plant are undocumented and using fake biographical information. He also gave investigators information about the inner workings of the plant and identified people he believed to be undocumented workers. [Emphasis added.]
Although no company officials have been charged yet, the Washington Post reports that “documents name numerous managers who apparently knew about the widespread practice, according to the affidavits recently unsealed in Mississippi federal court.”