Thursday, September 11, 2008

Immigration raid at candle plant yields 65 arrests (AP c/o Arizona Daily Star)

Immigration raid at candle plant yields 65 arrests

The Associated Press
Tucson, Arizona Published: 09.11.2008

Authorities raided a candle-manufacturing plant in Chandler on Wednesday in an investigation into whether the business hired illegal immigrants.

While no employer-sanction allegations were filed against the Gold Canyon Candle Co., Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said the investigation will continue into whether the business knowingly hired illegal workers.

In any case, 65 people — most of whom were in the country illegally — were arrested.

Twenty-three people were booked on identity-theft allegations. Another 37 were taken into custody for being in the country illegally and five U.S. citizens were arrested on outstanding criminal warrants.

The company said it conducts background checks on all hires and cooperated with investigators.

"Gold Canyon is in compliance with state and federal requirements for hiring co-workers and proactively verifies the work status of every co-worker prior to hiring," CEO Curt Waisath said in a statement.

Arpaio said a woman who has worked at the plant for seven years was using the Social Security number of a man who works in the White House. The sheriff declined to name the White House employee, citing security reasons.

No business operators have been formally accused of civil employer-sanction violations in the eight months since Arizona has prohibited employers from knowingly hiring illegal immigrants.

Maricopa County deputies had previously raided two other businesses in similar cases, but none has yet been accused in court of committing such a violation, though employees of the firms were arrested on ID-theft charges.

No comments: