Koch Foods takes legal action against ICE, calls August raids illegal

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New legal action is being taken against the Immigration Customs and Enforcement Agency also known as ICE, but this time it’s by one of the companies in the Mississippi raids.

Koch Foods announced ICE officials made many unlawful actions against them as they conducted their searches and took documents and data without reason.

Their case mainly argues Koch Foods did not knowingly hire workers with illegal immigration status. Going as far as calling the raids illegal as a whole which if proven could also benefit the undocumented workers on trial.

Following 243 undocumented immigrants being picked up at their Scott County plants, Koch Foods is fighting back calling the raids illegal.

In a motion filed Friday the companies Attorney Michael Dawkins pointed to ICE violating the fourth amendment searching a business without evidence or probable cause. Contradicting ICE on their procedure.

“We lawfully executed a federal criminal search warrant by a judge,” ICE spokesman Bryan Cox told us. “So the warrants that we executed were issued by a judge.”

In the affidavit supporting the search warrant against Koch Foods ICE found from 2002-2019 144 illegal immigrants arrested had ties to once working at the processing plants.

Also finding Homeland Security received numerous anonymous tips Koch Foods is knowingly hiring undocumented immigrants.

Something U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst hasn’t ruled out as the investigation continues.

“To those who take advantage of illegal aliens, to those who use illegal aliens to a competitive advantage or to make a quick buck, we have something to say to you. We’re coming after you,” Attorney Hurst stated back on Aug. 7.

But Attorney Dawkins is firing back in his motion pointing to the Morton plant employing almost 9,500 people since 2008 and 144 illegal immigrants arrested on that scale leads to no evidence the company hired illegals and knew about it.

As for the tip line, Attorney Dawkins and Koch Foods argue this in the affidavit provides no claim ICE or Homeland Security tested the credibility of these tips or those giving them.

Also showing an investigation from 2008 where employees’ identities and I-9 forms were reviewed by ICE and passed until those same workers were discovered to have lied and taken in the 11 years later.

“I’m happy to see the filing by Koch Foods going after ICE,” Immigrant Attorney Ray Ybarra Maldonado said. “For not having enough probable cause to get their search warrant and not doing enough do diligence to the baseless allegations that were against them.”

For Attorneys representing the undocumented workers, a victory for Koch Foods may give them an advantage in their trials.

“ICE is an agency that’s out of control,” Attorney Maldonado said. “They think they have all the power in the world and come into businesses without sufficient probable cause and take away people’s private documents. We don’t want the federal government going above and beyond what they’ve been allowed to do in the constitution.”

U.S. District Attorney Mike Hurst would not comment any further on Koch Foods legal action against this investigation. For the full legal motion and other arguments in the case click the file below.

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