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Christensen Farms Targeted in Immigration Raids

Pork producer/feed mill amongst 14 businesses in Minnesota, Nebraska raided by ICE

A large federal law enforcement operation has targeted businesses in Minnesota and Nebraska that officials say knowingly hired - and mistreated - immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally, reports KARE.

The investigative arm of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) led the operation Wednesday that saw 14 business owners and managers and 133 workers arrested. ICE reports that search warrants were served at Christensen Farms Minnesota locations in Appleton and Sleepy Eye (including office, feed mill and truck wash) as well as in Atkinson, NE. Several other Nebraska farms were raided as well.

Homeland Security Investigations special agent in charge Tracy Cormier says the focus of the operation is a business that knowingly offered for hire immigrants in the country illegally to other businesses, including farms, meat processors, grain companies and restaurants. Cormier says owners and operators of those businesses that hired the immigrants also were targeted for arrest.

Christensen Farms released a statement saying their "entire team of employees is fully cooperating with the investigation" and they are "aware of no wrongdoing at this time."

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