LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Thirteen illegal aliens working at Waco Manufacturing in North Little Rock, Arkansas were arrested early Wednesday morning by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents who executed federal arrest warrants at the site. The arrest warrants were obtained by ICE agents who identified document fraud and misuse of Social Security cards by the defendants.
ICE special agents arrested a total of 13 males, ten from Guatemala and three from Mexico. On July 25, 2008, all of those individuals arrested were convicted for document fraud and misuse of Social Security cards and are currently in the custody of the United States Marshal's Service. On July 28, 2008, all subjects will be transferred to ICE Office of Detention and Removal and will be placed in removal proceedings. Their immigration status makes it illegal for them to work in the United States.
Wednesday's action was conducted with the assistance of Special Agents from Social Security's Office of Inspector General.
"ICE is committed to enforcing the nation's immigration laws in the workplace to maintain the integrity of our legal immigration system," said Michael A. Holt, special agent-in-charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in New Orleans.
Since its establishment in 2003, ICE has dramatically enhanced its efforts to combat the unlawful employment of illegal aliens in this country. ICE's comprehensive strategy for worksite enforcement is aimed at promoting national security and public safety, protecting critical infrastructure, and ensuring fair labor standards.
Thus far in fiscal year 2008 (October 2007 through July 11, 2008), ICE has made 937 criminal arrests in connection with worksite enforcement investigations. Of those, 99 involve owners, managers, supervisors or human resources employees who face charges ranging from harboring to knowingly hiring illegal aliens. In addition to the criminal arrests, ICE has made more than 3,500 administrative arrests for immigration violations during worksite investigations in that same time frame. Last year, ICE made more than 4,900 arrests in worksite enforcement cases, including 863 involving criminal violations. Last year's figure represents a 45-fold increase in criminal worksite arrests compared to fiscal year 2001. Furthermore, in fiscal year 2007, ICE obtained more than $31 million in criminal fines, restitutions and civil judgments as a result of worksite related enforcement actions.
Special Agent Holt commended Special Agents from Social Security's Office of Inspector Generalfor their outstanding assistance with this case.
The U.S. Attorneys Office for the Eastern district of Arkansas has accepted the case for prosecution.