BOISE, Idaho - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents yesterday arrested 13 foreign nationals who were working illegally at a pallet manufacturing company located in Homedale, Idaho.
The illegal workers, who were employed by Specialty Inc., Wood Products, will be placed in removal proceedings for violating U.S. immigration law.
All of those taken into ICE custody, including 10 males and three females, are Mexican nationals. Each of the workers was interviewed by ICE agents to determine if they had any medical, caregiver or other humanitarian issues. The interviews assisted ICE in determining whether the individuals would be detained or released on humanitarian grounds while they await an immigration hearing.
ICE initiated this investigation after receiving information that illegal aliens might be employed at the wood products company. Subsequent investigation revealed that some of the workers may have secured their employment by using false Social Security numbers and other counterfeit identity documents. The owner of Specialty Inc., Wood Products, is cooperating with ICE on this investigation.
To help employers ensure that they are building a legal workforce through voluntary partnerships with the government, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced a new initiative called the ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers or "IMAGE." IMAGE is designed to build cooperative relationships between government and businesses, to strengthen hiring practices, and to reduce the unlawful employment of illegal aliens. The initiative also seeks to accomplish greater industry compliance and corporate due diligence through enhanced federal training and education of employers. ICE strongly encourages employers to review IMAGE program materials available at www.ice.gov.