Immigration Newsletter

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Poultry firm fined $1.5 million after immigration raid, monitoring -- baltimoresun.com

Poultry firm fined $1.5 million after immigration raid, monitoring -- baltimoresun.com

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Following a massive raid at the Greenville plant last year, Columbia Farms was charged with intentionally hiring illegal immigrants. A McClatchy Newspapers investigation of workplace safety in the poultry industry spurred the federal probe.

Under the agreement, the government will dismiss charges against the company if it improves its hiring practices over the next two years and submits to federal monitoring at its eight plants in the Carolinas and Louisiana.

"Our goal is not to punish corporations and force them to cut jobs, especially in these economic times," Walt Wilkins, U.S. Attorney for South Carolina, told McClatchy Newspapers. "Our goal is to make them a responsible corporate citizen. And this agreement accomplishes all of that."

The settlement stipulates that "Columbia Farms accepts responsibility for its actions associated with the employment of unauthorized workers."

House of Raeford has already begun revamping its hiring practices, Wilkins said. Over the past year, a newly hired corporate compliance officer has audited hiring procedures to ensure they conform to federal laws. "I am confident that we are seeing a true change in these companies' approach to hiring," Wilkins said.
 
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