US federal immigration agents have arrested 62 sanitation workers at a Cargill pork plant in Beardstown, Illinois.
Identity theft charges (13) and illegal immigrant issues (49) were the main reason for the arrests, immigration officials said.
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said those arrested were sanitation workers employed by Quality Service Integrity, hired by Cargill.
The raid prompted calls from the meat industry for changes in federal immigration laws to make it easier to hire immigrant workers.
The arrests disrupted meat production for approximately three hours.
Cargill employs about 2,200 people at the plant, which can slaughter about 18,000 hogs a day. The company is the fourth-largest pork producer in the USA, according to industry estimates.
Cargill is the third major meat processor to get a visit from ICE in the last four months. In December, agents arrested hundreds of employees at Swift & Co plants in six states. A month later, ICE rounded up 21 workers at a Smithfield slaughterhouse in North Carolina.
â€¢ Swift & Co.
â€¢ US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
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