An affidavit released by an agent from Immigration and Customs Enforcement claims Cargill Meat Solutions knowingly hired approximately 400 people suspected of using false identification.
The affidavit was used to acquire a search warrant for a March 2008 raid of the Cargill plant in Dayton, Virginia.
According to the affidavit, "Cargill Meat Solutions submitted over 1,300 I-9 Forms to ICE for inspection for its Dayton, Virginia plant and the inspection revealed that over 400 employees were suspected of providing and using fraudulently obtained or invalid documents to secure employment."
Potential employees are required to fill out the I-9 form, also known as the Employment Eligibility Verification Form, and the employer must submit it to the Department of Homeland Security. With the form, a potential employee must provide documentation that establishes a person's identity and employment eligibility.
The affidavit also states that Cargill, "...in violation of Title 8 United States Code Section 1324(a)(3)(A), knowingly hiring for employment unauthorized and smuggled aliens..."
In the affidavit, the agent cites sources and goes on to describe working conditions at the plant.
She writes, "Source C obtained information that Cargill Meat Solutions treats pregnant women employees different by working them until the very end and pressuring them to return to work soon after delivery of the baby. Cargill Meat Solutions appears to do this action because they know the employee is an illegal alien and they will not complain."
Cargill Director of Communications Rebecca Hayne, out of Cargill corporate headquarters in Wichita, Kansas, released a prepared statement in response to the affidavit.
The statement says, "Cargill is deeply committed to legal compliance and that means that we are never knowingly going to hire an ineligible worker. We have programs in place to ensure we only hire and retain legal workers."