Immigration activist and union officials meet to discuss ICE raid

A statewide conference call was held Wednesday across Ohio to discuss an immigration raid by U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement agents. (Courtesy: ICE)

SALEM, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) -- A statewide conference call was held Wednesday across Ohio to discuss an immigration raid by U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement agents.

The raid was carried out at Fresh Mark plants in Salem, Massillon, and Canton. The business is a meat and food processor.

According to federal authorities, 146 workers were arrested by ICE agents.

America’s Voice, an immigration reform group, held the conference call to discuss a response to the raid.

Canton pastor Dustin White said he works closely with immigrant workers in his church and community.

White participated in Wednesday night’s conference call and said immigrant workers shouldn’t be blamed for taking the jobs they have.

"American's don't want to work the jobs that often immigrant workers are willing to do. And secondly, there needs to be accountability to companies like Fresh Mart,” explained White.

ICE said as part of their yearlong investigation, there’s evidence Fresh Mark knowingly hired illegal aliens.

Special agent Steve Francis said in a statement, "Unlawful employment is one of the key magnets drawing illegal aliens across our borders."

The arrested workers are being held at facilities in Ohio and Michigan.

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