Federal immigration authorities conducted a raid at a Tennessee meat processing plant in one of the biggest employment crackdowns under President Trump. The ICE raid saw 97 workers taken into custody for being in the country illegally and 11 of them for criminal charges, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Tammy Spicer.
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The raid took place Thursday at Southeastern Provision, a meat processing plant in Bean Station, Tennessee. Jessie Hahn, labor and employment policy attorney at the National Immigration Law Center, said it was the largest single worksite immigration enforcement action since the George W. Bush administration.
"This is part of the stepped-up Trump mass deportation enforcement agenda for sure," Hahn said. Trump promised to crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants as part of his immigration policy. A recent raid of 7-11 stores nationwide in January saw 21 illegals deported.
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Stephanie Teatro, co-executive director of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, said, "What we saw here, while it is the largest and certainly credibly egregious raid, it does fit in the larger practice and patterns of the Trump administration of targeting workers, indiscriminately arresting immigrants and really terrorizing communities across the country."
A warrant for the processing plant was issued after an undercover police officer was hired at the company using a false name and he was paid in cash, according to an affidavit filed by IRS Special Agent Nicholas Worsham.
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