Thursday, June 21, 2007

Finger Pointing Over an Immigrant Raid

Night-shift workers at Iridium Industries in the Pennsylvania Poconos were punching out at 6 a.m. earlier this week when federal immigration agents swarmed into the plant and ordered everyone into the lunchroom.

Four hours later, 81 allegedly illegal immigrants from Mexico, Ecuador, Indonesia and Malaysia were under arrest and the finger pointing had begun.

Iridium, which makes colorful plastic squeeze tubes for L'Oreal and Victoria's Secret, among other cosmetics makers, has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

But it is widely assumed that the privately-owned company knew that most of its workers were illegals and the tip that led to the raid allegedly came from an insider who was well aware of the situation.

Iridium’s owners claimed no such knowledge and blamed the temp agency that supplied workers to the plant in East Stroudsburg.

Officials in Monroe County, where the plant is located, were clearly embarrassed because Iridium has received more than $9 million in public assistance since it opened in 1999.

More here.

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