On Tuesday, Townhall reported that a new poll shows 68 percent of Mississippians want business owners in their state to be prosecuted for employing illegal aliens. This sentiment was shared with both a majority of Republicans and Democrats. The poll was in response to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid, at a chicken plant operated by Koch Foods in Miss., which arrested hundreds of illegal aliens earlier this year. The company claimed to be unaware that more than 300 employees were foreign nationals. The raid, and subsequent legal proceedings, raised the question whether or not the business owners, who are based out of Chicago, would face legal punishment. Now, a recent case in Mississippi indicates that if equal enforcement of the law takes place, these business owners could face some penalties.
The Department of Justice reports that Hector Valdez-Loera, 42, of Madison, Miss. was given one year and one day in prison, followed by three years probation last Friday for "for harboring an illegal alien for commercial advantage and private financial gain." Valdez-Loera was also ordered to pay a fine of $79,784.00.
The Mississippi man in question owns Madison Concrete. In April 2017, ICE agents entered a home in search of an illegal alien fugitive who was scheduled for deportation. Upon entering the home, they apprehended two other illegal aliens living in the residence. Their main suspect had already left for work, they discovered. ICE agents then learned he worked for Valdez-Loera. Authorities went to the construction site where a number of workers fled into the woods. According to the press release, "Valdez-Loera hired illegal aliens who either had social security numbers that did not exist or belonged to someone deceased. He failed to check E-Verify to determine legitimacy of his workers and referred to them as subcontractors, when they were in fact his employees."
ICE apprehended Valdez-Loera and he pleaded guilty in May 2019 and Chief U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III sentenced him Friday.
Pro-illegal immigrant activists often argue that businesses like the one run by Valdez-Loera need to hire illegal aliens due to a dearth of American citizens seeking to do manual labor. However, after the aforementioned chicken plant raid, a job fair at Koch Foods showed this to be empirically not true:
Shortly after, the company held a job fair in compliance with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security in order to find new employees. The company had more than 200 applications by noon. The MDES says Koch Foods reached out to the government agency for assistance in making sure the employees were all properly vetted and legally in the U.S.