Officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security Investigations arrested more than 250 people at an Allen business Wednesday as part of an ongoing criminal investigation, ICE officials say.
HSI officials told NBC 5 that a search warrant was executed at the business as part of an ongoing criminal worksite investigation.
In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, ICE officials the employees were unlawfully working in the US and were arrested on immigration violations.
“As far as immigration related arrests, this is the largest ICE worksite operation at one site in the last 10 years,” said Special Agent in Charge Katrina W. Berger, HSI Dallas.
HSI said the investigation began after officials received a tip that the company, which repairs and refurbishes electronics used in telecommunications, may have knowingly hired illegal aliens and that many of the employees were using fraudulent identification documents.
An audit undertaken in January of the company’s I-9 forms indicated numerous hiring irregularities, officials said.
From Texas Sky Ranger, ICE agents could be seen searching and handcuffing a number of people outside CVE Group on Enterprise Boulevard and placing them onto one of five large buses.
“Businesses that knowingly hire illegal aliens create an unfair advantage over their competing businesses,” said Berger. “In addition, they take jobs away from U.S. citizens and legal residents, and they create an atmosphere poised for exploiting their illegal workforce.”
HSI said all of those arrested and detained Wednesday will be interviewed by ICE staff to determine if they’ll remain in custody or if they are to be considered for humanitarian release. In all cases, HSI said, all illegal aliens encountered will be fingerprinted and processed for removal from the United States.
A 24-hour toll-free detainee locator hotline is available for family members of those arrested. The hotline is designed to answer questions, in both English and Spanish, about those detained, their location and status. That number is 1-888-351-4024.