Monday, June 6, 2011

Egg processor fires 90 illegal workers (WOOD-MI)

Egg processor fires 90 illegal workers
Herbruck's faced federal prosecution

Published : Monday, 06 Jun 2011, 12:13 PM EDT

By Anne Schieber

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - A Saranac egg processor fired one-third of it workforce last week for failing to provide proper documenation.

About 90 employees lost their jobs at Herbruck's following a crackdown by the federal government on employers hiring illegal immigrants.

Like many employers, Herbruck's was audited by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and was red-flagged for a number of applications. ICE told the company it had to prove the citizenship of those workers or risk being prosecuted.

A company spokesperson told 24 Hour News 8 they managed to replace all the workers and there has been no impact on its operation.


Feds crack down on illegal immigration
Herbruck's affected, in Saranac

Published : Thursday, 26 May 2011, 11:27 PM EDT

By Anne Schieber
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Some workers are worried they'll lose their jobs in about a week, because the federal government is cracking down on employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants.

For generations, Herbruck's, in Ionia County, has been processing and distributing eggs. The company employs 375 people and has had no problem with immigration authorities -- until now.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement won't confirm or deny specific investigations, but Herbruck''s said it recently was subjected to worker "audit."

This week, questionable workers were told they have seven days to reverify their documentation, or they could be fired.

One employee, who wanted to remain anonymous, did not receive a letter, but she said her coworkers feel betrayed by the company.

"I wish they would get penalized if they let all these people go, because they knew what was going on and they accepted it," the worker said.

Herbruck's never knowingly hired illegal immigrants, the company says. All workers have to produce two forms of identification when they are hired, as is required by law.

"We're not police officers," Steve Herbruck said. "It's not our job to validate someone's identification. It's not what we do."

The company could face stiff fines if it does not comply. Managers could be criminally prosecuted. The company did not say what percentage of workers have been red flagged, but it is actively looking for replacements.

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