On June 19, 2018, unannounced ICE raids resulted in the arrest of more than 140 workers at four meat processing plants in Ohio. ICE calls this its largest workplace raid in recent history.

According to Fresh Mark, it is a member of ICE’s voluntary IMAGE (ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers) Program. Fresh Mark reportedly has been under investigation for a year.

The number of arrests made at the Fresh Mark locations tops the number made across the country at 7-Eleven locations in January 2018, the 97 arrests made in April 2018 at another meatpacking plant in Tennessee, and the 114 arrests made in early June at a flower and garden center, also in Ohio.

Search warrants for documents were executed at two of the Fresh Mark locations. Most of those arrested were sent to processing facilities to begin removal proceedings for entering the country illegally and for using fake identity documents.

According to the company, it was one of the first companies in Ohio to become a member of ICE’s voluntary IMAGE Program. As a member of the program, employers agree to:

  • Complete the IMAGE Self-Assessment Questionnaire/Application
  • Enroll in E-Verify within 60 days
  • Establish a written hiring and employment eligibility policy, including an annual internal I-9 audit
  • Submit to a Form I-9 inspection
  • Review and sign the official IMAGE partnership agreement with ICE

For IMAGE members, ICE and USCIS will provide education and training on proper hiring procedures, fraudulent document detection, and use of the E-Verify employment eligibility verification program. Membership does not protect against enforcement actions.

Fresh Mark supplies bacon, ham, and hot dogs to businesses and sports complexes in Ohio. Their Sugardale Hot Dog gained fame at “Sugardale Dollar Dog” days at the Cleveland Indians baseball team’s Progressive Field.

 

 

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Photo of Forrest G. Read IV Forrest G. Read IV

Forrest Read is a Principal in the Raleigh, North Carolina, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has extensive experience in both business immigration law and employment law and has particular focus in legal issues in graduate medical education (GME).

Mr. Read’s immigration practice focuses on assisting employers in obtaining employment-based nonimmigrant visas (e.g., H-1B, L, O, TN) for foreign national employees and work-related immigrant (green card) visas, including PERM Labor Certifications, and advising employers on compliance with U.S. immigration laws and regulations. He has broad experience in advising large, mid-size and small employers on their various immigration needs and developing strategies to help them navigate through complex immigration issues. He also has particular experience in counseling employers in the health care industry and addressing immigration-related issues that arise for their broad range of health care professional employees (including advising on and obtaining employment authorization for medical residents and fellows and obtaining J-1 visa waivers for foreign national physicians completing their medical training in the United States). His immigration practice also includes defending employers in connection with Department of Labor H-1B and H-2B investigations.

Mr. Read’s employment law experience includes representing management, particularly academic medical centers in the GME context, in a wide array of workplace disputes and litigation before federal and state courts and administrative agencies, including matters related to discrimination, retaliation, harassment, disability, family and medical leave, various wage and hour issues, contracts, and intentional torts. He advises academic medical centers on the interplay between applicable academic law and employment law and the ramifications of what are divergent legal requirements and standards. Mr. Read also provides counsel with respect to the legal impact of competency standards for residents and trainees in GME, including situations involving discipline, remediation, and dismissal. He provides advice and guidance in the peer review process, including provision of verification and assessment of training in response to third party inquiries.

As a member of the Firm’s Corporate Diversity Counseling group, Mr. Read also has experience in providing assessments and making recommendations to corporate and institutional clients with respect to diversity and inclusion policies and initiatives, conducting related internal investigations, and shaping, developing and enforcing effective policies and initiatives to ensure consistency with client values and in furtherance of business goals and objectives.