Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Story of Memphis company demonstrates role of illegal immigr

    Story of Memphis company demonstrates role of illegal immigrants in distribution
    By Daniel Connolly

    Sunday, October 21, 2007

    Federal agents went to a Dallas warehouse this June to look for counterfeit goods or other customs violations, but the routine inspection became an immigration raid.

    Agents became suspicious of workers at the facility owned watchmaker Fossil Inc. and arrested 31 women, all of them suspected illegal immigrants from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua, according to reports in Dallas newspapers.

    The company that supplied the workers to Fossil was Simos Insourcing Solutions Inc. a firm with Memphis roots that aggressively recruits among local immigrants.

    Simos supplies temporary workers to some of the mid-South's biggest distribution companies, including Technicolor, Williams-Sonoma, and United Parcel Service Inc. the world's largest package shipping company, said Donna Vassil, the firm's vice president of administration. She said the company had about 90 to 100 workers at Fossil on the day of the arrests.

    The arrests at Simos lend credibility to those who say the employment of illegal immigrants is widespread within the distribution sector.

    The incident also demonstrates how some companies are tightening immigration checks in the face of government pressure. Simos said the arrests prompted it to start running social security numbers for new hires through a voluntary government database program called E-Verify.

    In a statement, Simos said it has always aimed to hire people with the right to work in the United States and described the Dallas arrests as a "surprise."

    The firm says the employees arrested used fake identification to get jobs.

    Vassil says the firm's stricter standards are likely discouraging others from trying to obtain jobs with fake documents, she said.

    She said the company is constantly training employees to detect fakes.

    "We have to continually train our people because fraudulent documents are getting better and better," she said.

    At the same time, the company has to avoid pushing too hard and opening itself to discrimination charges, she said. It's only running the checks on new hires, not workers already employed with the firm, she said.

    Some immigrants are noticing a change. The Commercial Appeal interviewed two Mexican women who said they had to leave Simos earlier this year after their fake identification was discovered.

    Vassil said owner Timothy J. Sims started the company in Memphis about four and-a-half years ago and later moved its headquarters to Roswell, Ga., an Atlanta suburb.

    Like other staffing agencies active in Memphis, it has several bilingual recruiters and advertises in Spanish-language media. Unlike some others, it takes its recruiting to the streets. Day laborers at a pickup spot on Summer Ave. said Simos representatives sometimes pass out fliers. Two Salvadoran immigrants at the site said they had legal status, but around the nation, many day laborers are here illegally.

    Vassil says it's possible that Simos recruits at day labor sites in Memphis.

    "We recruit from bottom to top everywhere," she said. "It doesn't matter. We recruit on street corners, whatever. But every potential applicant has to go through the same stringent process in order to be hired."

    Carl Rusnok for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said that the Simos investigation is ongoing and wouldn't release details on the fates of the arrested immigrants. Vassil said some were released but said she didn't have details.

    So far, Simos and Fossil have suffered no penalties.

    Fossil didn't respond to requests for comment, but chief financial officer Mike Kovar told the Dallas Morning News immediately after the arrests that the firm had ended its relationship with Simos and that no Fossil employees were detained or questioned.

    The companies that use Simos said they're confident the firm is following the law.

    "When that news did break, we did follow up with Simos and did a subsequent audit," said Mary H. Collier, vice president of human resources for Technicolor Home Entertainment Services.

    Williams-Sonoma declined interviews and said only that it holds its vendors to high standards.

    "We have audit procedures in place to ensure that both our hiring practices and those of our staffing vendors are legal and fair, while promoting the diversity of our workforce," the firm said.

    UPS spokesman Dan McMackin said the company uses Simos employees to load its trucks at only one site in Memphis: a Williams-Sonoma distribution operation on 4300 Concord Road.

    "We do know that they have told us after the situation in Dallas that they are re-validating all of their employees," McMackin said. He said UPS expects all vendors to follow the law.

    Vassil said the federal government doesn't appear displeased with Simos.

    "We're not on the bad side with them at all," she said.
    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at

  2. #2
    Senior Member AirborneSapper7's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    South West Florida (Behind friendly lines but still in Occupied Territory)
    all equipment and goods at that plant need to be confiscated... pending a trial of all the owners and management....

    Have no fear folks; Money will buy this company out of litigation and prison terms
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  3. #3
    Senior Member SicNTiredInSoCal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Mexico's Maternity Ward :(
    Im somewhat surprized. I used to know a "lily" white woman who was employed by Fossil. Seemed like a nice Co. to work for...
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts