Sunday, December 17, 2006

Los Angeles Times:Immigration Officials Raid Meatpacking Plants Federal officials raided six meatpacking plants across the country Tuesday in the culmination of a 10-month investigation triggered by allegations that illegal immigrants were using the stolen identities of U.S. citizens. The raids, all at plants operated by Swift & Co., resulted in arrests of workers on immigration violations and some existing criminal warrants, with charges of aggravated identity theft possible at a later date, officials said. The number of arrests was not immediately known. The company was not charged. The action targeted the use of legitimate Social Security numbers by illegal immigrants -- what Jamie Zuieback, spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, called "a massive identity-theft scheme." "We believe hundreds of U.S. citizens were affected," she said. "We do see this as a new trend, and the scope of it is very large, and that makes it significant." In the past, she said, illegal workers had used "false identities, which is different from using stolen identities."