Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq.
Can you imagine having a typical day at your workplace before being suddenly arrested for criminal conduct by the US government? Probably not, but such was the fate of more than 280 employees of CVE Technology Group, a technology repair company, located in Allen, Texas (a suburb of Dallas), on April 3. These employees were arrested by a unit of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for working in the United States unlawfully.
According to Katrina W. Berger, a special agent in charge for ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations in Dallas, “Our focus is the criminal investigation. . . . As far as immigration-related arrests, this is the largest ICE worksite operation at one site in the last 10 years”. The arrests were part of an ongoing investigation that began after ICE received multiple tips that CVE Technology Group may have knowingly hired illegal immigrants, and that many of their employees were using fraudulent identification documents.
The employees arrested, who were predominantly women, came from 15 countries, including El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Nigeria, and Venezuela, according to ICE. ICE said that more than half of the arrested workers had been released with orders to appear before a Federal immigration judge, but 110 people remained in custody as of the day after the arrests (April 4).
Special Agent Berger stated, “Businesses that knowingly hire illegal aliens create an unfair advantage over their competing businesses. . . . In addition, they take jobs away from U.S. citizens and legal residents, and they create an atmosphere poised for exploiting their illegal work force”.
United We Dream Texas, an organization led by young immigrants, criticized ICE, stating, “Within hours, the lives of hundreds have spiraled into turmoil and anxiety. . . . These workers are now in the hands of an agency that is abusive and negligent towards the physical and mental well-being of the people they target”.
Citing his company’s history of complying with Federal immigration and employment laws, Edward Cho, the chief executive of CVE Technology Group, said, “We are cooperating with the authorities and intend to continue doing so. . . . We are also focused on providing support to impacted employees and their families, for whom this is a profoundly upsetting development”.
Workplace raids by ICE have become more common under President Trump (similar to under President George W. Bush, and unlike under President Barack Obama). These workplace raids are just another example of the aggressive policies of President Trump against immigrants, and the need for immigrants to have competent counsel during the Trump administration. With its years of success in representing immigrants, the Law Offices of Kameli and Associates is well-prepared to advocate for immigrant rights against the anti-immigration policies of the Trump administration. If you are an immigrant being challenged on any issue by the Trump administration, please contact the Law Offices of Kameli and Associates, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-233-1000, for legal representation.