Saturday, June 10, 2006

INB 6/10/06: Memphis Chemical Plants Raided

Immigration News Briefs
Vol. 9, No. 22 - June 10, 2006

1. Memphis Chemical Plants Raided
2. Wichita Recycling Firms Raided
3. Restaurants Busted in Ohio, Kentucky
4. Acquitted Palestinian Deported

Immigration News Briefs is a weekly supplement to Weekly News Update on the Americas, published by Nicaragua Solidarity Network, 339 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012; tel 212-674-9499; INB is also distributed free via email; contact to subscribe or unsubscribe. You may reprint or distribute items from INB, but please credit us and tell people how to subscribe. Immigration News Briefs is now archived at


On May 26, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested 25 Mexican immigrants working on the premises of a DuPont Co. chemical plant in Memphis, Tennessee. The workers were employed by Lucite International Inc., and by Arkema, the chemical unit of French oil company Total SA, at an industrial park complex owned by DuPont. None of the men arrested was a DuPont employee or contractor, according to Tennessee DuPont spokesperson Chris Caldwell. DuPont cooperated with ICE to arrange on-site screenings of workers at the plant. The raid was carried out by ICE special agents with agents and officers of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Shelby County Sheriff's Office. The arrested workers had used fraudulent documents and made false statements to gain employment with Lucite and Arkema. Some were also identified as having illegally re-entered the country after being previously deported. David Kustoff, the US Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, will be evaluating each case for possible federal criminal prosecution. [ICE News Release 6/6/06; AP 6/6/06]


On June 6, ICE special agents arrested 11 immigrant workers at three scrap metal businesses in Wichita, Kansas. The raids were carried out in coordination with the Wichita Police Department, which served simultaneous search and arrest warrants at American Can Inc. and two locations of Kansas Can Inc. The raids followed an undercover Wichita police investigation into whether the three companies were bilking customers by cheating on the weight of the recycled scrap metal they purchase. Wichita police sought ICE assistance because they suspected a number of the employees at all three locations were not authorized to work in the US.

One of the arrested workers was a 55-year-old Cuban who was already in removal proceedings. The other 10 were from Mexico; all have been placed into removal proceedings. Seven of the Mexicans were released under supervision, with notices to appear before immigration judges and an order to periodically check in with the local ICE office. The other four workers, including the Cuban, have criminal records and are being detained. [ICE News Release 6/8/06]


On June 5, ICE agents detained nine men and three women in a raid targeting a popular Chinese buffet restaurant in Fairfield, Ohio, north of Cincinnati. Bee's Buffet owner Jing Fei Jiang, who had apparently ignored a deportation order issued years earlier, as among 10 people arrested at his home; two other people were arrested later in the day at the restaurant. Authorities also seized evidence from both the home and restaurant, including cash, records, receipts and a new SUV. Officials say Jiang housed the workers from China and Mexico and paid them in cash. [ 6/5/06; FOX19 News 6/6/06]

On June 6, a federal grand jury in Louisville, Kentucky, indicted Chinese restaurant owner Jian Tian Lin and his brother, Jian Chai Lin, on charges of illegally harboring, transporting and employing unauthorized immigrant workers for financial gain. The brothers, both out-of-status immigrants themselves, were arrested on May 10 as part of an ICE worksite enforcement investigation. Jian Tian Lin is in federal custody; Jian Chai Lin has been released on bond. Their arraignment is set for June 27. The brothers allegedly housed the Mexican and Chinese immigrant workers at a residence and transported them to and from work at Jian Tian Lin's Golden China Buffet restaurant in Radcliff. At the time of the arrests, seven unauthorized immigrant workers were found at either the residence or the restaurant. [ICE News Release 6/7/06]


On May 23, US government officials deported Palestinian native and Tampa resident Sameeh Hammoudeh by taking him to Jordan. Hammoudeh then crossed into the Occupied West Bank to be reunited with his wife and six children, according to his attorney, Stephen Bernstein. "He's home in the West Bank," Bernstein said. "He's in Ramallah." Hammoudeh had been in US federal custody since February 2003. Last Dec. 6, a jury acquitted Hammoudeh of charges that he was involved in raising money in Tampa for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). As part of a June 2005 plea deal in a separate tax fraud case, Hammoudeh and his wife had already agreed to be deported. Hammoudeh's wife was deported in February, but Bernstein had to sue the government in federal court to expedite Hammoudeh's deportation. Bernstein said the Israeli government granted permission on Apr. 20 for Hammoudeh to enter the Occupied West Bank. A federal judge reviewing the lawsuit gave immigration officials until May 24 to deport Hammoudeh or explain why they continued to hold him. [AP 5/25/06; Washington Post 12/7/05]

The same jury that acquitted Hammoudeh on Dec. 6 also acquitted his co-defendant, Kuwait-born Palestinian professor Sami Al-Arian, of eight charges in the Tampa "terror" case, and deadlocked on another nine charges. On Apr. 14, Al-Arian made a deal with the government and pled guilty to one count of conspiring to provide support to the PIJ. The plea deal, which was unsealed in federal court on Apr. 17, was supposed to allow Al-Arian to be sentenced to time served and quickly deported. But at the May 1 sentencing hearing where the deal was expected to be confirmed, Judge James S. Moody Jr. of Federal District Court in Tampa instead sentenced Al-Arian to an additional 19 months in prison--the maximum allowed under sentencing guidelines. The prosecution had asked for him to be sentenced at the low end of the guidelines. [New York Times 5/2/06; WP 4/18/06]


Contributions toward Immigration News Briefs are gladly accepted:
they should be made payable and sent to Nicaragua Solidarity
Network, 339 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012. (Tax-deductible
contributions of $50 or more may be made payable to the A.J.
Muste Memorial Institute and earmarked for "NSN".)

No comments: