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Thread: 11 DETAINED AFTER IMMIGRATION RAID ON TORTILLA FACTORY IN HOUSTON (update)

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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    11 DETAINED AFTER IMMIGRATION RAID ON TORTILLA FACTORY IN HOUSTON (update)

    11 DETAINED AFTER IMMIGRATION RAID ON TORTILLA FACTORY IN THE HEIGHTS



    Agents with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement raided a tortilla factory in the heights this morning.



    Updated 26 mins ago
    HOUSTON (KTRK) --

    Agents with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement raided a tortilla factory in the Heights this morning.

    It happened around 10:00am at La Spiga de Oro, which is in the 1200 block of W 15th at Dorothy.

    Eyewitness News reporter Pooja Lodhia reports nine women and two men have been detained so far.

    No other details were immediately available.

    Keep checking back on this page to get real-time updates as this story unfolds.

    http://abc13.com/news/11-detained-af...actory/902066/
    Last edited by Jean; 01-29-2016 at 03:58 PM.
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  2. #2
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    UPDATE: 11 detained in ICE raid at Heights tortilla factory

    HOUSTON (KHOU) U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents detained 11 people at a Heights tortilla factory Tuesday morning.

    Several I.C.E. vehicles pulled several pulled up to La Espiga De Oro near 14th St and N. Shepherd around 10 a.m.

    A spokesman for the agency says they took 'enforcement action" at the facility. Concerned family members arrived to await the outcome of the raid.

    Nine men and two women were detained for questioning.

    Authorities say those detained are undocumented immigrants, but the company itself is the primary focus of the investigation for possible multiple violations.

    http://www.cbs19.tv/story/29706878/i...rtilla-factory
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Immigrant advocates alarmed after raid of tortilla factory

    By Lomi Kriel
    Published 3:14 pm, Wednesday, August 5, 2015

    A day after federal agents raided a tortilla factory in the Heights, briefly detaining 10 people, immigrant advocates urged residents to report any immigration enforcement activity to a hotline so they can alert the community and send legal assistance.

    "According to Obama, these people should not be a priority," said Marta Ojeda, executive director of the Fe Y Justicia Worker Center, a non-profit representing low-wage workers, referring to the president's announcement last year in which he promised to focus on deporting criminals, not families. She said immigrants should call the center at 713-862-8222 and that reported information would be spread on social media.


    The raid at La Espiga de Oro comes after a separate four-day operation arresting 27 immigrants with criminal convictions in Corsicana and Dallas in July that has rattled the immigrant community across Texas, as such big, public operations have largely become a thing of the past.


    Cesar Espinosa, executive director of FIEL Houston, an immigrant advocacy group, said the last big raid he recalled in Houston occurred in 2008, when immigration officials descended on a second-hand clothing company in Port Houston, arresting more than 160 workers here illegally.


    "It's definitely out of the norm," he said.


    The La Espiga de Oro raid is part of an ongoing investigation, said Greg Palmore, a spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He declined to provide more details. But he said the agency granted employment authorization to seven of the 10 detained workers, allowing them to work here legally for up to one year because they are "material witnesses." Three others didn't qualify, though he declined to say why. No one was detained for deportation.

    He said it was unusual for the agency to grant such work permits, but noted the immigrants "have to be able to work and survive while we retain them as witnesses."

    http://www.chron.com/news/houston-te...of-6427017.php

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  4. #4
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    OWNERS OF HEIGHTS TORTILLA FACTORY INDICTED BY FEDS

    BY LEIF REIGSTADFRIDAY, JANUARY 29, 2016


    La Espiga De Oro was raided by ICE officers in August, and now the owners are facing criminal charges.
    Google Maps, screenshot


    The owners of a Heights tortilla factory that was raided by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers in August are now facing federal charges for allegedly hiring undocumented workers.

    According to the indictment filed in federal court on Monday, Alfredo Lira and Lydia Botello-Lira, co-owners of La Espiga De Oro on West 15th Street, repeatedly knowingly hired workers without legal documentation, including two confidential informants posing as undocumented workers.

    ICE began its investigation in 2011 after receiving three tips between 2008 and 2010 from people who claimed to be employees at La Espiga, alleging the owners were hiring undocumented workers. Over the course of three years, ICE sent two separate confidential informants posing as undocumented immigrants to infiltrate the company. Both were hired, and according to the indictment they were encouraged by the owners to get counterfeit documentation, including fake social security cards. The informants found many of the factory's employees were also undocumented.

    When ICE officers raided the factory in August last year, 11 undocumented workers were rounded up and detained before being released. ICE spokesman Greg Palmore told us in August that no deportation orders were issued to the workers, who were given authorization by ICE to work legitimately in the United States while being retained as witnesses.

    "Generally, when we go into facilities like this we're concerned with unsafe working conditions," Palmore said in August. "We often encounter unsafe conditions and an egregious amount of unreported workplace injuries in places known to hire illegal aliens."

    According to the indictment, one undocumented worker lost three fingers in a workplace accident, and she was allegedly paid $30,000 by La Espiga and signed a non-disclosure agreement as part of the settlement. There were no other workplace injuries or unsafe working conditions mentioned in the indictment.

    After the ICE raid in August, both owners allegedly told investigators that about half of the employees at La Espiga were undocumented. In October, ICE reviewed 105 personnel documents seized during the raid and found 65 current employees with either "suspect work authorization documents" or no documents at all. All 65 were later confirmed to be undocumented immigrants.

    http://www.houstonpress.com/news/own...y-feds-8110539
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    MW
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    Nine men and two women were detained for questioning.

    Authorities say those detained are undocumented immigrants, but the company itself is the primary focus of the investigation for possible multiple violations.
    Yep, give them their work permits, free pass, and tell them when to appear in court to testify. That's it, now 11 more have a government sanctioned amnesty. The only difference now is, they can go to work down the street and they'll be legal. Absolutely ludicrous!

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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    Senior Member lorrie's Avatar
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    This is a perfect example why the world thinks we are a joke.
    MW and 6 Million Dollar Man like this.


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    Owners of Houston tortilla company plead guilty to employing undocumented workers

    By Fernando Alfonso III, Published 1:36 pm, Friday, August 11, 2017



    The owners of a Houston tortilla company plead guilty to federal charges of employing undocumented workers for nearly four years.

    The owners of La Espiga De Oro (Espiga) plead guilty to misdemeanor violations associated with their continued employment of undocumented workers between October 2011 and August 2015, according to a news release from the Department of Justice (DOJ) Friday morning.

    The owners also forfeited $1 million following the felony conviction of conspiracy to induce and encourage unlawful immigration through a pattern and practice of hiring and employing illegal workers, said acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez in the news release.

    The people found guilty include owners Alfredo Sosa Lira, 72, his wife Lydia Botello-Lira, 68, their daughter Lydia Lira, 25, and night manager Roberto Guerra, 45.

    "Employers who knowingly hire immigrants with fraudulent or suspect documents face serious consequences under the law," Martinez said. "This company violated the law by allowing more than half of its employees to work as undocumented immigrants. The $1 million forfeiture will help pay for the investigation and assist immigration authorities in their continued pursuit of employers who engage in similar conduct. Enforcement of our immigration laws is serious business and employers must only hire those with legitimate documentation to demonstrate they are legally in the United States."

    Espiga opened in 1977 and is located on the 1200 block of 15th Street in the Heights neighborhood. The company made tortillas for distribution to restaurants and businesses throughout Texas, Louisiana and Colorado, the Department of Justice added.

    The investigation into Espiga began on Aug. 4, 2015, when Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) executed a search warrant on the business. HSI discovered 10 undocumented workers "as well as evidence demonstrating that 55 percent of their employees were not authorized by law to work at the factory," the DOJ said.

    "One long-term employee that the company knew to be employed illegally was injured on the job and received a settlement under her true name after using an alias for more than six years. The company owners and managers continued to employ this alien knowing that she was illegally in the United States," stated the DOJ.

    Espiga is currently under a 12 month probation imposed by the DOJ. The company was fined more than $100,000 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) last summer for dangerous working conditions that could have led to amputations, falls, and heat exhaustion.

    http://www.chron.com/neighborhood/he...y-11750922.php
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  8. #8
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    Will these employers be charged?

    Will their assets be taken?

    I'm not holding my breath.

    Now if they really want to do something, send someone under cover at the poultry processing plants, they could get several busloads in one day.

    While I'm glad they got the one, I'm wondering why they are targeting such a small operation?

  9. #9
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean View Post
    The owners of a Houston tortilla company plead guilty to federal charges of employing undocumented workers for nearly four years.

    The owners also forfeited $1 million following the felony conviction of conspiracy to induce and encourage unlawful immigration through a pattern and practice of hiring and employing illegal workers, said acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez in the news release.

    The people found guilty include owners Alfredo Sosa Lira, 72, his wife Lydia Botello-Lira, 68, their daughter Lydia Lira, 25, and night manager Roberto Guerra, 45. . .


    http://www.chron.com/neighborhood/he...y-11750922.php
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    Show and tell -

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