The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa revealed Wednesday that 23 people believed to be illegal aliens face charges from the raid at the Swift packing plant in Marshalltown. Attorney Matt Whitaker was joined by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agent Mark Cangemi at the announcement.
Both Whitaker and Cangemi say the case isn’t closed on the Swift case nationwide. Cangemi says the charges are only part of the investigation. He says even though they arrested around 13-hundred people nationwide and charged 199 criminally, “there’s still a lot of folks out there that were former or present employees of Swift that we have interest in.”
Cangemi says he’s been asked why they’re seeking out the illegals. Cangemi says the illegals can have an impact on Homeland Security. Cangemi says one of the issues that concerned him the most is that in Worthington, Minnesota, some of the people used their “falsely acquired” identities to get a U.S. passport. Cangemi says getting a passport is the “Holy Grail” for illegal aliens. He says if you attempt to secure a passport and get one, then you have free access through a port of entry and can continue criminal activity or smuggling.
Cangemi says illegals have advanced beyond making up fake green cards that allowed them to work. Cangemi says it was fairly easy to find false greens cards. In the next step,Cangemis says the illegals now buy or steal the identities of real people, and that impacts those people’s credit ratings, their social security accounts, Internal Revenue issues.
U.S. Attorney Whitaker was asked what’s wrong with the system that allowed nearly one-third of the workers at Swift in Marshalltown were suspected illegals. Whitaker says fundamentally there’s the basic pilot program that if a legitimate name and number in, the system says that person is approved to work. Whitaker says, “I think fundamentally the basic pilot program…at some time should be a little more robust.”
Whitaker says more could be done by the system to verify the worker is legal. Whitaker says, “Things like biometrics and those types of things, and cards, identity cards that can’t be easily forged or obtained need to be part of the solution.” Whitaker says for now they enforce the laws that’re are written on the books. Whitaker says the workers at Swift plant in Marshalltown were found to be illegal after ICE reviewed the documents the workers had submitted.