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Thread: More immigration actions planned in 2018 at job sites across Tennessee, high-ranking

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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    More immigration actions planned in 2018 at job sites across Tennessee, high-ranking

    More immigration actions planned in 2018 at job sites across Tennessee, high-ranking enforcement official says

    Daniel Connolly, USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee Published 10:00 a.m. CT Dec. 27, 2017

    The federal government plans to increase job site immigration enforcement actions across Tennessee in 2018, said Robert Hammer, a high-ranking enforcement official.

    Workplace immigration investigations will likely focus on "critical infrastructure," such as airports, defense contractors, food distribution and other businesses that have an impact on the general safety and welfare of the community, he said.

    Hammer is assistant special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations, or HSI. HSI is a branch of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.

    Hammer oversees HSI operations in Tennessee and spoke with The Commercial Appeal in a recent interview.

    He said federal immigration agents are increasing the focus on employment in Tennessee based on orders from Thomas D. Homan, acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement under President Trump.

    “He has tasked us to increase our focus on work site enforcement."

    The emphasis on critical infrastructure comes because the agency has to set priorities, he said.

    “Everybody could use more people," Hammer said. "So we’ve got to use the limited staffing that we do have to get the biggest bang for our buck.”

    Hammer said tips from the public may also lead to other job site actions.

    "We want to be responsive to those tips and leads that come in. The tips range from current employees at the company all the way to former employees as well."

    Increased work site immigration enforcement actions would represent a big shift from earlier presidential administrations, which deemphasized job site immigration enforcement. Decades ago, job site immigration enforcement actions prompted backlash from businesses that were using unauthorized immigrant labor, and for a time, the enforcement essentially stopped.

    Increased enforcement could have a big impact on companies and industries that use immigrant labor as well as an impact on the society as a whole.

    Critics of stricter enforcement argue it harms ordinary people trying to make a living and chokes off a needed labor supply from industries. Advocates for stricter enforcement argue it opens the doors for U.S. citizens and authorized immigrants to do these jobs at higher wages.


    More on Homeland Security Investigations

    In addition to immigration cases, HSI pursues investigations into a wide range of crimes including child pornography and art theft.

    HSI's parent organization, ICE, has historically been short-staffed. Hammer declined to say how many staffers HSI has in Tennessee.

    “I would just say we have had a plus up in resources and we do have five offices across Tennessee to execute the mission," he said.

    Those offices are in Chattanooga, Johnson City, Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville, he said. Hammer is based in Nashville.

    HSI also has a working relationship with the Tennessee Highway Patrol, which took part in the Nov. 28 immigration-related arrests at a Memphis-area branch of logistics company Expeditors International.

    Hammer wouldn't say what led to THP's involvement in that case but says the working relationship continues.

    He pointed to an August 2016 news release describing how a group of THP employees traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas for anti-smuggling training.

    History of work site enforcement

    Knowingly hiring unauthorized immigrants is against the law, but when the government has moved to enforce the rules, industries have complained. More than once, the government has backed off.

    Classic cases played out in the late 1990s in Georgia's Vidalia onion fields and in meatpacking plants in states like Nebraska. The federal government aimed to stop employment of unauthorized immigrant workers in these industries. Immigrant workers fled, business owners complained to Congress, and the enforcement stopped.

    In March 1999, federal immigration authorities issued a memo that made work site enforcement the fifth out of five priorities. The top internal immigration enforcement priority was deporting immigrants who had committed significant crimes.

    By 2000, job site immigration enforcement had basically stopped, the New York Times reported. "In a booming economy running short of labor, hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants are increasingly tolerated in the nation's workplaces," the newspaper wrote.

    The government tweaked the policy many times in the years since and some work site arrests did occur, but in general, work site enforcement remained rare.

    Donald Trump promised much stricter immigration enforcement during the 2016 presidential campaign. During his still-new presidency, immigration arrests have increased.

    Hammer declined to say how work site enforcement ranks among all enforcement priorities that his agency is assigned to handle. "I don't want to rank only because every case is different. All the circumstances are different."

    Arrests may foreshadow future actions

    Hammer was in Memphis recently at an announcement of a federal indictment against 20 immigrant workers arrested Nov. 28 at Expeditors International, a logistics company. The immigrants were working through a temp agency, Provide Staffing Services, and allegedly used fraudulent documents to get jobs.

    Hammer said the government was pursuing this case hard because the workers had access to a sensitive air cargo area at Memphis International Airport that required special clearance. "Failure to completely vet individuals who have sensitive access to air cargo presents a security risk that we can simply not accept," Hammer said at the news conference.

    The immigrants face not just the possibility of deportation, but federal prison time on the document charges. Many were held in detention for weeks, and as of late December, many were still struggling to get out on bond. Some had stopped trying to get out on bond on criminal charges because their lawyers feared they'd be taken straight into immigration custody.

    Many of the immigrants who were arrested were parents, including a husband and wife whose children were reportedly now in the custody of a Misssissippi child welfare agency.

    Charges against employers?

    The government hasn't announced charges against anyone associated with Provide Staffing Services or Expeditors International. The companies didn't respond to requests for comment in recent weeks.

    "People have benefited from undocumented workers," Mauricio Calvo, leader of advocacy group Latino Memphis, said in mid-December. "I don't know if these people are undocumented or not, I haven't asked them. But the reality is that it's very sad that they are concentrating on 20 vulnerable individuals... Why is no one pressing charges against the employers?"

    The federal prosecutor announcing the staffing case said in mid-December that the investigation continues.

    Hammer said he can't comment on the Expeditors International case in detail because prosecution is ongoing, but said the ICE director has said workplace investigations shouldn't just target workers. “The expectation is that we go after both the employer and the employees.”

    http://www.commercialappeal.com/stor...-sa/978007001/
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  2. #2
    Senior Member hattiecat's Avatar
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    Next , workplace enforcement accross the Southeast in new neighborhoods, at residential construction sites, would be welcome. The building boom opened the floodgates for illegals to pour into our country and construction remains an industry that employs a huge number of illegals. Reclaim this honorable industry for hardworking Americans, please !
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Beezer's Avatar
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    FINE EMPLOYERS TO THE FULL EXTENT OF THE LAW

    PUT ALL FINES IN THE DEPORTATION FUND!

    BUILD THE WALL
    nomas likes this.
    NO DACA - NO AMNESTY - NO PATH TO STAY - LET WORK PERMITS EXPIRE
    DEPORT ALL ILLEGAL ALIENS WITHIN 24 HOURS
    END BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP!

  4. #4
    MW
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    He said federal immigration agents are increasing the focus on employment in Tennessee based on orders from Thomas D. Homan, acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement under President Trump.

    “He has tasked us to increase our focus on work site enforcement."

    The emphasis on critical infrastructure comes because the agency has to set priorities, he said.

    “Everybody could use more people," Hammer said. "So we’ve got to use the limited staffing that we do have to get the biggest bang for our buck.”
    This is what I've been calling for all along ...... more work site raids! As the article states, this is where you're going to get the most bang for your buck. Some of the larger work sites have dozens if not hundreds of illegals working in them.
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    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Yes, target huge groups of hundreds and thousands and roll them out of here on fast track buses, cargo planes and secured ships.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Beezer's Avatar
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    Do the raids...collect the FINES...use the fines for massive deportation!

    No papers, no entry, no rights!
    Judy and nomas like this.
    NO DACA - NO AMNESTY - NO PATH TO STAY - LET WORK PERMITS EXPIRE
    DEPORT ALL ILLEGAL ALIENS WITHIN 24 HOURS
    END BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP!

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