WILMINGTON, Del. - Twenty-seven illegal aliens who worked at seven area Burger King restaurants were arrested in New Castle County on Wednesday, August 13 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents.
The arrests two weeks ago resulted from ICE worksite enforcement investigation that stemmed from I-9 audits of the company's employment records. The seven restaurants are owned by Dar Mel Inc.
"Employment is a strong magnet for illegal immigration across our nation's borders," said John P. Kelleghan, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Philadelphia. "ICE worksite enforcement operations send a powerful message to employers and illegal aliens alike that we will aggressively enforce our nation's immigrations laws. ICE also stands ready to assist employers in efforts to ensure that they have a legal workforce."
All of those arrested have been placed into removal proceedings for being in violation of U.S. immigration law. They will receive due process in immigration court.
Among those arrested, were nationals of Mexico (26) and El Salvador (1). All have been interviewed by ICE agents to determine if they had medical, caregiver, or other humanitarian issues. ICE identified approximately 13 individuals who qualified for a humanitarian release. These individuals are still required to appear before a federal immigration judge who will ultimately determine whether or not they will be deported.
The United States Attorney's Office for the District of Delaware and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) assisted ICE in the operation. No criminal charges have been filed. The investigation is ongoing.