Massive ICE Workplace Raid Jails 280 Immigrant Workers In Texas

| Educate!

Above Photo: Police arrest immigrant workers in Allen, Texas

Agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raided an Allen, Texas business on Wednesday morning and arrested 280 undocumented workers. The business, CVE technology, employs 2,100 workers who repair cell phones and other electronic devices. The business is the third largest employer in that city.

Some 200 law enforcement officers participated in the raid, rounding up the entire workforce and separating them into groups based on immigration status. Agents then forced workers to wear wristbands, labeling employees in green if they had legal status and yellow if they were suspected of being undocumented.

Yessenia Ponce, an employee of CVE, described the raid to NPR: “Man, it was crazy, “ she said. “We were working like a normal day. … We just heard screaming, you know, people screaming and stuff. We went out and an officer just said ‘follow my voice, follow my voice.’”

Those deemed by ICE to be undocumented were then transported to detention centers in four busses as helicopters flew overhead and local police patrolled the area. All of those arrested now face deportation.

Many will also face indefinite detention, including those with a prior criminal conviction. The US Supreme officially recognized this authoritarian rule in a recent 5-4 decision.

Protestors gathered outside of CVE to defend the immigrant workers as news spread of the police action. According to the Dallas Morning News, at least 100 people, including some relatives and friends of those arrested, gathered to demand the workers’ release. Workers inside the facility began frantically calling and texting their family members as the raid unfolded, fearful of being separated from their loved ones forever.

Edgar Arrubala was among the worried family members. A US citizen originally from Colombia, he said that his fiancé was among those detained. He told, “I was at home and she called me from somebody else’s cell phone, She’s probably going to be detained and they’re going to try to deport her. I’m feeling really sad. I’m scared to think what’s going to happen to her.”

Hilda Ramirez Duarte, a representative from the League of United Latin American Citizens, described the conditions under which immigrant workers at CVE labor to the local NBC affiliate:

“Some of these people have family members that have been working here for 10 and 15 years. So, these are not people who have not just arrived. These are people who have been with this company for years and have been in this country for years. It’s sad because I understand that most of the people here are women and they are leaving behind their children… I talked to a young lady who is a teenager and she says, ‘My mom is leaving myself, my brother, and two younger babies.’ She’s the only breadwinner in the household, so what’s going to become of this family of four? We have similar situations all across the board.”

Wendy Armas, a worker from Guatemala, was among those detained but was later release. She told NBC, “These are hardworking people. These are not criminals, rapists or anything of that nature. They are hardworking people earning a living. The hardest thing was when the bus started taking off. It reversed out and then there was a long moment of silence, people crying, people saying, ‘I’m going to leave this country and go back to my own.’”

One protestor, 19-year-old Luis Martinez, who was holding a sign saying “No human is illegal,” told the Dallas Morning News, “It’s just something drastic, something you don’t see every day in Allen, in Collin County.”

According to media reports, ICE had been tipped off that CVE employed some workers with fraudulent I-9 documents. Over the course of the past year, the agency had been auditing the company’s files to search for irregularities.

The mass arrest of workers on Wednesday by ICE is the largest of its kind since a 2008 raid by that agency on an Iowa slaughterhouse that resulted in 398 arrests. It also follows a similar raid in the northeastern Texas city of Sumner at a trailer manufacturing plant in August of 2018 that saw 159 immigrant workers arrested.

A January 2019 ICE statement bragged that mass roundups of immigrant workers is the “new normal.”

The WSWS reported in March, “The number of businesses targeted for worksite investigations has increased by over 300 percent in the last year alone. In 2018, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) opened 6,848 worksite investigations compared to 1,691 in 2017, according to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement news release. Newsweek reported that since 2016, there has been a 650 percent surge in workplace arrests by ICE.”

The latest terror operation by ICE marks an escalation of the Trump administration’s assault on the immigrant population. In February of this year, 77,000 people were detained attempting to cross the southern border, the most in any month since 2009. Most of those detained were from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, including many unaccompanied minors.

Immigrant workers detained by ICE will face imprisonment without due process, deportation to countries devastated by US imperialism and ruled by criminal regimes, the separation of children from their parents, concentration camp style detention centers, abusive guards, and other arbitrary forms of punishment. This horror show is carried out with the support of both Democrats and Republicans.

Last week, President Trump cut off foreign aid to El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala in retaliation for the supposed failure of those countries to stem the tide of immigration to the US. This was followed by a threat to close the US border with Mexico.

The Trump administration is whipping up anti-immigrant xenophobia to fuel his far-right base, including in the police and military.

These far-right forces are being mobilized to take the police state infrastructure that has been erected to terrorize the immigrant population and turn it upon the working class as workers increasingly enter into struggle against the capitalism.

  • Dave


  • rgaura

    No, businesses want them here to exploit! All of our votes have been stolen or jiggered ever since they switched to machines. I used to teach English to immigrants, and you would not believe how they are mistreated by multi million dollar businesses. And they work so hard! People with advanced degrees working fast food jobs, and so happy to be able to send money home!
    Someday there may be a law that makes anyone named Dave illegal. Watch yourself, Dave.

  • Sabrina

    Now, who will take their minimum wage jobs so that the public can buy their products at a low price?

  • Sabrina

    Dave – “Illegals cannot vote” – that’s trump’s fake news you are spouting.

  • Dave

    I’d suggest looking up the definition of the word “future.”

    They will pump out kids.

  • Dave

    Watch yourself, rgaura.

    One day those people will one day make here like the places they came from.

    And here’s a hint: When the economy is bad, people with advanced degrees (like I have) must work menial jobs (as I have had to in the past.)

    If they have advanced degrees, there are plenty of jobs available. Unless they’re here illegally.

  • Sabrina

    ……and those kids will be workers to raise our GNP. As far as making America “greater,” they will make sure that they will never create or live in the conditions from which they fled.

  • Sabrina

    Don’t blame your failures on others.

  • rgaura

    Dave, the USA would benefit from immigrants bringing ancient wisdom and ethical cultures. I live in Mexico because the corporate media culture in the USA creates an inferior environment for childrearing, and life in general. México has a vibrant culture. They are kind to us immigrants, we even get free healthcare.

  • rgaura

    All western democracies are not reproducing enough to keep pensions solvent. That’s why Germany, Spain, and the US need immigrants. They pay into social security, even when they get nothing back. I suggest you hang out with some immigrants, and discover how much you have in common!

  • Dave

    I already have, and do. I work with lots of them.

    So I suggest you get out of your particular bubble.

  • Dave

    Then I suggest staying there.

    If I wanted to live in Mexico, I’d do it.

  • Dave

    You think all these illegals are just wonderful people. Some are, MANY are not. And yes Virginia, many of them ARE animals.

    It is obvious you’ve never been in some of the places I’ve been here in the U.S. where these people run rampant.

  • Dave

    Unlike leftists, I have no need to project.

    And no need to argue this with someone who is only interested in virtue signaling.

  • rgaura

    change is the only constant

  • Dave

    And we’re changing for the worse.

  • Sabrina

    “These people?” Hondurans?, Columbians? Mexicans? – the gentleman doth gloss over too much. He seeith not the trees for the forests.

  • Sabrina

    Dave is just another angry white dude who is afraid he cannot compete – by his own words.

  • rgaura

    He got my goat for a minute there, but I rounded her back up. Weird thing is that even the NYT calls legal refugees illegal immigrants. The central americans are legally requesting asylum. Different process completely. Trumps USA is illegally not processing them.

  • Sabrina

    Bingo! And THAT is the “National emergency.” trump spouted out his white nationalism and they are coming in droves before he “closes the border.”

  • No, you only like to argue and project your ignorance and bigotry. No mention of the collusion of the employers, who hired those workers. No mention of the pay scales those workers have, compared to other “documented” workers. The economy is bad for all workers because of the companies refuse to pay living wages, and will not make any concessions to their requirements for
    ever-increasing profits, paid to investors (who have probably never done a real day’s work in their lives). “Those people”, as you call them, came here because of the imperialism of US Foreign policy, and the DOCUMENTED covert actions of the US’s CIA to foment illegal arms and drug trade, and to subvert the democratically elected socialist governments in those countries. Every one of them have had civil wars instigated by US foreign policies.

    It’s too bad that your job skills are so poor that you were not in the group of favored employees when our consumer-driven economy failed because of the off-shoring of jobs by the employers. It’s too bad that the technologies have passed you by, and your fancy advanced degree no longer ensures you a living wage job.

    Join the club, buddy! You are just another victim of the corporate takeover of democracy in the USA. You can blame your own indifference about how your government has not been serving your needs for that. You have more in common with these immigrants than you are letting yourself to understand.

  • You, Dave, are an animal, too! Odds are, your own parents or ancestry came here from Europe at some point. But wherever they immigrated from, they no doubt came to the USA in order to seek out a better life.

    The problem you are having is that the employers (essentially those with the excess wealth to be able to employ large numbers of poorer workers like you, are exploiting your poverty, while projecting blame on immigrants as the cause for your distress.

    The truth is, you are being exploited by your employer, not being victimized by the immigrant workers who are only doing the same thing as you are doing: just attempting to make a good life for yourself and your family.

    If you must blame someone for your perceived victim-hood, blame the 400 rich guys who are hoarding over half of this county’s wealth, while the rest of the country (the 99.99% must make do with the rest.

  • Dave

    Typical leftist with class envy and victimhood mentality.

    Like all leftists, you covet (you may need a dictionary) what you can’t earn yourself – and then demand the property of others be handed over to you by government force.

    No need to continue with you.

  • Nonsense, Dave. I make none of those straw-man claims. Those are your own projected attributions, and they have no basis in reality.

    I am so sorry that you have reduced yourself to using the tactics of a troll to make your empty insults about someone you do not know.

    As to wages, the only wage suppression comes from the ability of the employer to set wages. A guaranteed job program, with a living wage mandate, would eliminate all of those concerns, and those who want more can earn it by showing the proof of their own individual efforts. YOUR abilities, not the arbitrary fiat of an employer’s need to increase profits, would determine how much more than the guaranteed living wage you would earn.

    It is YOUR lack of understanding of these principles, and that of many other uninformed workers, that allows the wage slavery that most workers must face in the workplace today.

    You have only to observe WHERE the income increases and the wealth of this nation (and the world) has concentrated (HINT: It’s the top .01% of the population) for your to prove for yourself the truth of what I am trying to show you.

    I’m so sorry that you have chosen to injure yourself with your own closed-mindedness.

  • Hermit Crab,

    Good comment. Would it be OK if I posted it as an article on my website WriterBeat com? I think the title “US Foreign policy is to blame for the immigrant wave” would make for a good draw. Please note, I’ll be sure to give you credit and the the only thing I’m asking you to do is reply “sure.”


  • sure

  • I tried sending a link but I believe this platform blocked the message. Your article is currently in the #20 and has 2 comments. Many thanks for your contribution to WriterBeat com!