Customs targets employers

Rather than physically entering workplaces to catch illegal immigrants, federal customs agents are using  “desktop raids.”

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Instead of the previous method of physically invading workplaces to catch illegal immigrants, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is frequently auditing employers and requiring them to show valid documentation for each employee.

These “desktop raids” are in an effort to create a “culture of compliance” among employers, according to ICE.

That’s what happened in May at Meduri Farms, a fruit orchard near Salem. Hundreds of employees who couldn’t provide documentation were allegedly laid off after the audit. Workers from the farm approached Ramón Ramírez, the president of PCUN, a tree planters’ and farmworkers’ union.

“They said they were being laid off, and they didn’t know why,” says Ramírez. “Some had ongoing workers’ comp cases, and they wanted to know what would happen. We think that around 350 people were laid off.”

Read more at the Portland Mercury.


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