Poultry processor fined for hiring illegal workers

A poultry processor with operations in Southwest Missouri, USA has paid a $450,000 fine after a work-site investigation two years ago by federal immigration authorities found it had employed illegal workers.

George’s Processing Inc., paid the fine as part of a settlement agreement. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested 137 illegal alien workers in May 2007 at one of the firm’s poultry-processing plants. The workers, from Mexico and Guatemala, included 28 who were criminally prosecuted for various immigration violations, including falsely claiming US citizenship. Two of the company’s hiring personnel were convicted of harbouring illegal aliens and inducing illegal aliens to remain in the US.

The settlement directs George’s to train its human resource managers and employees on how to prevent the hiring of illegal aliens, and to establish a compliance program to ensure that their hiring and employment practices are in accordance with US immigration laws. The fine paid by George’s does not constitute any admission of wrongdoing by the company.

George’s Processing Inc. is based in Springdale, Arkansas, and employs 4,000 workers at its three poultry processing plants in Arkansas, Missouri and Virginia.

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