ICE arrests workers, with no sign of employers going to court for hiring illegal immigrants

Posted at 10:09 AM, Jun 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-22 10:39:58-04

The nearly 150 workers arrested during ICE raids this week in Massillon, Salem and Canton will likely end up in Cleveland's immigration court, but experts say the people who hired them in the first place might not be part of the legal system.

Years before this week's raid, Cindy Kovick was fired from her Human Resources job at Fresh Mark.

"I knew these people were not legal," said Kovick, referring to the new hires she was forced to sign off on without the proper documentation.

She told News 5 she had enough and raised red flags about their hiring practices.

Fresh Mark says since Kovick worked there, they started using E-Verify, the government system that helps employers make sure their new hires are working legally in the United States.

RELATED: Ex-employee says bosses at raided plant knew workers were undocumented

Immigration Attorney Brian DiFranco argues Tuesday's raid suggests otherwise.

"That begs the question, what's being done to the employers who are probably not using E-Verify?" asked DiFranco.

He says the raids in Ohio have gone after employees but not the business owners also committing crimes by hiring illegal immigrants while not making a good-faith effort to check their papers.

"The employer has plausible deniability at the end of the day," said DiFranco.

News 5 reached out to DHS and ICE to see if there is anything pending against Fresh Mark, and we still haven't heard back.

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