A trailer-manufacturing company in Texas has been raided by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for the second time in four years after hiring unauthorized workers again. ICE raided Load Trail on Tuesday and arrested 160 employees who were unlawfully working in the United States. The company apparently didn’t learn its lesson as it was previously fined $445,000 in 2014 for hiring 179 illegal aliens.
According to ICE’s report, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) received a tip that the company “may have knowingly hired illegal aliens, and that many of the aliens employed at Load Trail were using fraudulent identification documents.” More than 300 federal agents were involved with the operation.
One employee claimed that agents “raided from every entrance” and that some employees attempted to escape only to be caught, according to The Dallas Morning News. Load Trail states that it has more than 500 employees, which means those arrested made up almost a third of the workforce.
The company could face exponentially higher fines this time. The standard fine for hiring illegal aliens who constitute 30 to 39 percent of a company on a first offense is $2,411 per conviction, which is approximately what the company paid the first time. The standard fine for a second time violator in the same bracket is $8,174 per conviction. Load Trail’s total fines could reach well over a million dollars.
Instead of hiring U.S. citizens, Load Trail has twice decided to employ unauthorized workers and will likely suffer the consequences yet again. Now the company is losing a large portion of its workforce and probably a substantial sum of money. This situation could have been avoided if Load Trail had put American workers before its own greed.
Katrina Berger, who is the agent in charge of the Dallas HSI office, warned other employers potentially hiring illegal aliens that they could face the same fate as Load Trail.
“We’re watching. And we’re coming.”