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Lico Reyes

licoreyes@att.net
Lico Reyes, Immigration Chair LULAC TX.
Co Chair: Robert Tellez
COMMITTEE:
Daniel Morris, Lawyer; Terry Meza, Lawyer; Andrea
Reyes, German Immigrant; Gonzalo Hidalgo,
Chihuahua Mexico Liaison; Rudy Martinez; Edward
Rodriguez, former DEPORTATION OFFICER; Cyprain
Engwenyi, Cameroon Africa; Lawrence Castillo USW
( Steelworkers; Joe De La Fuente Rodriguez.

IMMIGRATION REPORT: 4-10-2018 - ICE Raids Grainger County


Meatpacking Plant (Tennessee) l April 6, 2018

NBC 10-News
(local TV station news clip)
URL: https://www.wbir.com/video/news/97-involved-in-ice-raid-in-grainger-county/51-
8068783
Accessed: 7 April 2018
NBC-10News
URL: https://www.wbir.com/article/news/local/families-wait-for-answers-after-ice-raid-in-grainger-county/51-536062125
Accessed: 7 April 2018

Families Wait for Answers after ICE Raid in


Grainger County
97 people were detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on
Thursday
Author: Marc Sallinger, Louis Fernandez
Published: 8:04 PM EDT April 6, 2018
Updated: 9:00 PM EDT April 6, 2018
The faces of despair and uncertainty filled the St. Patrick Catholic Church in
Morristown Friday as hundreds of families waited to hear news about their
loved ones detained during an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
raid on Thursday.
MORE | Affidavit details alleged worker exploitation, tax fraud at Grainger Co.
plant
"I look up to him. Many things that I do is for him because he is ill. I just want
to see him," said a 13-year-old boy whose father was detained.
He was born in America, but did not want us to use his name out of fear ICE
would come after his undocumented mother, as they did his father.
"I got home and I asked my mom if she knew about it. She was like yes, they
got your dad, and I was shocked."
Homeland Security Investigations encountered 97 individuals who were subject
to removal from the United States during the execution of a federal criminal
search warrant at Southeastern Provision meatpacking plant.
11 of them were arrested on federal or state criminal charges while 86 were
arrested on administrative charges. 54 have been placed in detention and set
through removal proceedings while 32 were released.
Affected families can locate those detained at this link. Si una familia
necesita información sobre una persona en particular pueden visitar esta
página de web.
MORE | Plant had septic system failure in March
According to the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, those 54
still in ICE custody will be brought to centers in Alabama, then Louisiana while
legal process takes place.
“Our highest priority is getting these people high quality legal representation,
insuring everybody has their fair day in court and that people can be reunited
with their families as soon as possible,” said TIRRC co-director Stephanie
Teatro.
Teatro said the process could take some time, it could be weeks or months
before families are reunited, if ever.
Father Steve Pawelk was the first catholic pastor in Grainger County, he’s said
1/3 to 1/2 of his congregation was affected by the raid. As he helped at St.
Patrick, you could see the concern for these families' future in his eyes.
❖vvvv
KnoxNews.com
Part of the USA Today Network
URL: https://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/crime/2018/04/05/ice-raids-meatpacking-plant-grainger-
county/490673002/
Accessed: 7 April 2018

ICE Raids Grainger County Meatpacking Plant amid


Charges Owners Avoided $2.5M in Payroll Taxes
Travis Dorman and Jamie Satterfield, Knoxville
Published 5:29 p.m. ET April 5, 2018 | Updated 5:26 p.m. ET April 6, 2018
Federal agents raided a Bean Station, Tennessee slaughterhouse Thursday after a months-long
probe into allegations the owners were paying undocumented immigrants cash to avoid paying
$2.5 million in payroll taxes in three years, federal court records show.
Agents raided Southeastern Provisions, a cattle slaughterhouse on Helton Road in Grainger
County, as part of a probe into myriad claims of tax evasion and fraud involving millions of
dollars in unpaid taxes in a scheme that could stretch back a decade.
IRS Criminal Investigation Agent Nicholas R. Worsham wrote in a search warrant affidavit that
James Brantley and his wife, Pamela Brantley, who own the slaughterhouse and meat-packing
firm, have been hiring undocumented immigrants since 2008 and hiding it from the IRS.
Worsham also alleges the Brantleys used their daughter and other employees in their fraud, lied
to the IRS about how much they paid themselves and American employees, filed false tax returns
and exploited its largely Hispanic and undocumented work force.
The Brantleys are not charged, though. They could not be reached for comment Friday, and it’s
not clear from court records if they have hired an attorney.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is declining to comment on the raid or ongoing probe. Agents seized
a slew of documents, electronics and computer hard drives, a search warrant return showed.
97 people found inside, 10 arrested
ICE officials reported 97 people were found inside the slaughterhouse when agents and
Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers raided it. ICE said in a statement that “10 of those
encountered were arrested on federal criminal charges.”
But there were no federal warrants or indictments related to the raid filed in the U.S. District
Court electronic filing system Friday afternoon.
ICE said 86 people were held pursuant to an administrative hold to check immigration status. Of
those, 54 were detained for further immigration proceedings.
The agency gave no other details about the raid or the detainees.
Worsham’s affidavit showed the plant owners and a handful of legal workers are the targets of
the probe. It was Citizens Bank, where the Brantleys held accounts, that first tipped authorities to
possible fraud, his affidavit showed.
“Bank personnel began noticing large amounts of cash being withdrawn from the Southeastern
Provisions bank accounts,” the affidavit stated. “The cash withdrawals occurred on a weekly
basis.”
Worsham later confirmed the Brantleys had withdrawn more than $25 million in cash since 2008
and told bank personnel they used the money “for payroll.” Although it’s not clear why, bank
personnel “conducted a site visit” at the plant in December 2016 and learned the Brantleys had
installed a vault to keep cash.
Agents later surveilled the Brantleys and employees as they made those weekly cash
withdrawals. Worsham said the Brantleys withdrew $10.9 million in cash from 2013 to 2016 but
only reported to the IRS paying workers $2.5 million.
The $8.4 million difference between what they actually paid workers in those three years and
what they reported they paid means they pocketed $2.5 million in unpaid taxes, Worsham
alleged.
The investigation
In May 2017, agents used an undocumented immigrant, labeled CI-1 in Worsham’s affidavit, to
gather more evidence against the Brantleys. He was working as an informant for local law
enforcement when agents asked him to get a job at the Brantleys’ slaughterhouse.
He was hired without providing any documents, such as driver’s license or social security card,
the agent wrote. CI-1 was offered a supervisor’s job on the spot because he spoke Spanish and
English, the agent wrote.
He was paid $10 per hour. His pay – given in cash – was handed to him in an envelope at the end
of the work week, the affidavit stated.
He provided agents with intelligence about what he saw. He said there were dozens of Hispanic
workers who were being paid in cash. They were forced to work overtime without pay, the
affidavit stated, and exposed to hazardous chemicals without protective gear.
Many had been fired from another meat-packing plant in Morristown because of their lack of
documentation of legal status, the affidavit stated.
The informant later snared video for the agents, Worsham wrote.
Immigrant advocacy groups cry foul
Advocacy groups on Friday decried the raid’s impact on undocumented immigrants.
The Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition complained in a statement the workers
“reported rough treatment and detention despite having work authorization.” ICE contends the
detained workers did not have work authorization records.
“Children were left without primary caretakers, and local churches have provided sanctuary for
dozens of others,” the group said in a release.
Stephanie Teatro, co-executive director of the group, blamed the Trump administration in the
release.
“Our communities have lived under intense fear since the Trump administration began, and this
raid – coupled with local law enforcement involvement – will send shockwaves across the
country,” she said.
ICE said families of detained workers could check their status through the agency’s web portal.
Septic system failure
Southeastern Provision has a history of sanitation and safety violations. In March, the plant's
septic system failed, leading to the contamination of well water in the area with coliform and E.
coli bacteria.
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation ordered the plant to shut down its
underground wastewater system and haul its waste to an offsite treatment facility.
State officials provided well sampling to 12 households that "had the potential to be impacted,"
said TDEC spokeswoman Kim Schofinski.
Residents were forced to use bottled water as authorities worked to help them install treatment or
tie onto public water systems.
"TDEC continues to provide technical expertise and oversight assistance at the facility,"
Schofinski said.
Representatives for Southeastern Provision could not be reached for comment Friday.
❖vvvv
Washington Post
URL: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/immigration/ice-raids-meatpacking-plant-in-rural-tennessee-more-
than-95-immigrants-arrested/2018/04/06/4955a79a-39a6-11e8-8fd2-
49fe3c675a89_story.html?utm_term=.982ec2e869dd
Accessed: 7 April 2018

ICE Raids Meatpacking Plant in Rural Tennessee; 97 Immigrants


Arrested
By Maria Sacchetti
April 6, 2018 at 1:27 PM
Federal officials arrested 97 immigrants at a meat-processing plant in rural Tennessee on
Thursday in what civil rights organizations said was the largest single workplace raid in a decade
and a sign that the Trump administration is carrying out its plan to aggressively ramp up
enforcement this year.
Ten people were arrested on federal immigration charges, one person was arrested on state
charges and 86 immigrants were detained for being in the country illegally, Tammy Spicer, a
spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said in a statement Friday. All of
those arrested are suspected of being in the country illegally, she said. Immigration advocates
said most were from Mexico.
The raid on Southeastern Provision in Bean Station, Tenn., follows arrests at 7-Eleven stores and
other workplaces nationwide. Last year, the nation’s top immigration official said he had ordered
agents to increase the number of work-site inspections and operations by “four or five times” this
year, to turn off the job “magnets” that attract immigrants who are in the country illegally and
punish employers who hire them.
The National Immigration Law Center and other immigrant advocates said the Tennessee raid
was the largest since the George W. Bush administration and deployed many of the tactics of that
era, with a surprise blitz of the factory and streets blocked by state and local authorities. ICE
officials would not say where the raid ranked in terms of size.
“People are panicked,” said Stephanie Teatro, co-executive director of the Tennessee Immigrant
and Refugee Rights Coalition, a statewide organization that came to the small town and set up
intake centers at local churches where relatives could report their loved ones missing. “People
are terrified to drive. People are terrified to leave their homes.”
President Trump announced on April 3 that he would send the military to the southern border.
Previous presidents have done the same. (Patrick Martin/The Washington Post)
Of the 86 immigrants arrested on civil immigration charges, ICE released 32 but did not explain
why. The remaining 54 were being detained, but the agency did not provide their names or say
where they were being held.
The immigration arrests came as authorities executed a federal criminal search warrant at the
cattle-slaughter facility outside Knoxville in northeast Tennessee. ICE said it was a joint
operation involving its Homeland Security Investigations arm, the Internal Revenue Service and
the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
In a federal affidavit, IRS Special Agent Nicholas R. Worsham said the family-run plant is under
criminal investigation for allegedly evading taxes, filing false tax returns and hiring immigrants
in the country illegally.
He alleged the facility failed to report $8.4 million in wages and to pay at least $2.5 million in
payroll taxes for dozens of undocumented workers.
Federal agents began investigating the company months ago after Citizens Bank employees
noticed that Southeastern Provision was withdrawing large sums of cash every week — more
than $25 million since 2008. Worsham said the plant hired undocumented workers who were
paid in cash and subject to harsh conditions, including long hours without overtime and exposure
to bleach and other chemicals without protective eyewear.
The affidavit said the company’s president and general manager is James Brantley and the
employees involved include his wife, Pamela, and their daughter Kelsey.
Company officials did not return messages left at their offices or the Brantley family home.
A federal official said that the company managers had not been charged as of Friday and that
investigators executed the search warrant to gather evidence. The U.S. attorney’s office referred
the media to court records, but those were not immediately available online.
Since Donald Trump entered the White House, immigration arrests have risen more than
40 percent and deportations from the interior of the United States have spiked 34 percent.
In January, ICE fanned out to 7-Eleven stores in the District and 17 states, including California,
Maryland, Michigan and New York. Agents arrived at 98 7-Eleven stores to interview
employees and deliver audit notifications, making 21 arrests. At the time, agency officials said it
was the largest operation targeting an employer in President Trump’s tenure.
ICE conducted 1,360 employee audits last year and arrested more than 300 people for alleged
criminal and civil immigration violations. Businesses were ordered to pay $97.6 million in
judicial forfeiture, fines and restitution and $7.8 million in civil fines, the agency said.
Immigration hawks have called on the administration to step up work-site enforcement and to
require all employers to use the federal E-Verify system, arguing that the Trump administration’s
focus on the border will not work if unauthorized immigrants continue to find jobs in the United
States.
In 2017, Tennessee required nearly all employers to screen new hires through E-Verify, a federal
program that checks that they are authorized to work in the United States.
Last month, border apprehensions surged to 50,308 people, up 37 percent from the month before,
prompting Trump to call for an emergency deployment of National Guard troops to the U.S.-
Mexico border.
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Major stories about the D.C. area, weekdays at 4 p.m.
Advocates for immigrants called on Congress to pass an overhaul of immigration law, saying the
raids upend long-standing communities and that immigrants are filling jobs that Americans will
not do. Despite the surge this month, border apprehensions were at a 46-year low last year.
“This incident points out once again the urgent need for immigration reform — a need that has
existed for decades and through the administrations of both political parties,” said the Rev. Chet
Artysiewicz, president of Glenmary Home Missioners, a Catholic society that serves Appalachia
and the South.
Nick Miroff and Tracy Jan contributed to this report

Historia Chicana
Mexican American Studies
University of North Texas

On Thursday, February 8, 2018 5:42 PM, Lico Reyes <licoreyes@att.net> wrote:

IMMIGRATION REPORT: 2-8-2018 - China should not return refugees to


N, Korea! They will face death or sex slavery... etc.

Here is the article by Ms. Fleck of the Dallas Morning News about the anti-Chinese government protest..
Thanks so much. The article is fantastic.

Lico Reyes, Immigration Chair


LULAC TX.
Co Chair: Robert Tellez

COMMITTEE:
Daniel Morris, Lawyer; Terry Meza, Lawyer; Andrea
Reyes, German Immigrant; Gonzalo Hidalgo,
Chihuahua Mexico Liaison; Rudy Martinez; Edward
Rodriguez, former DEPORTATION OFFICER; Cyprain
Engwenyi, Cameroon Africa; Lawrence Castillo USW
( Steelworkers; Joe De La Fuente Rodriguez.

Joe De La Fuente filmed the event.

https://www.dallasnews.com/ news/community-column/2018/02/ 05/dfw-south-asian-film- festival-


expands-four-days

Fighting for North Koreans


Charles Park and Sinmin Pak, center, speak out against China holding North Korean
refugees at a small protest Jan. 30 at JFK Memorial Plaza in Dallas.
(Staff/Deborah Fleck)
A small group of civil rights activists gathered Jan. 30
at the John F. Kennedy Memorial in Dallas to protest
China's treatment of North Korean refugees. Charles
Park, chair of the Spirit of April Revolution, gave a
short speech demanding that China disclose the
location of eight North Korean refugees held by China.
He said he has heard that China may return the
refugees to North Korea, which would mean torture
and execution.
"We ask China to let them leave and to be humane,"
Park said.

On Thursday, February 8, 2018 9:24 AM, Lico Reyes <licoreyes@att.net> wrote:

FYI

Joe De La Fuente taped the event......

Lico

________________________

Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:

From: Joe De la Fuente <jrmediaco@gmail.com>


Date: February 7, 2018 at 2:05:29 PM CST
To: "Fleck, Deborah" <dfleck@dallasnews.com>, Charles Park
<charlesypark37@gmail.com>, Lico Reyes <licoreyes@att.net>, pak
sinmin <lettertosinmin@gmail.com>
Subject: Re:

Hi Everyone,

Here is the article by Ms. Fleck of the Dallas Morning News about the anti-
Chinese government protest.. Thanks so much. The article is fantastic.

Joe

On Wed, Feb 7, 2018 at 1:52 PM, Fleck, Deborah


<dfleck@dallasnews.com> wrote:
Sorry for the delay. The article ran in print on Feb. 6 in the Metro section.
Here is the link to the online column:

https://www.dallasnews.com/ news/community-column/2018/02/ 05/dfw-


south-asian-film- festival-expands-four-days

Debbie

On Sun, Feb 4, 2018 at 6:56 AM, Charles Park


<charlesypark37@gmail.com> wrote:
Dear Deborah, I like to have a copy of DMN that has the story about
anti-Chinese protest made last Tuesday.

--
Joe De la Fuente Rodriguez
CEO/Producer/Director
(m) 817-705-6236
Corporate Office:
400 S. Zang Blvd. Suite C60
Dallas, Texas 75208

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