Federal officials appear to be taking a tougher stand regarding people who knowingly harbor illegal alien.
A union representative and human resources worker were recently arrested at the Swift & Co. meatpacking plant in Marshalltown on charges of bringing in and harboring illegal immigrants.
The arrests were part of a nationwide sweep of Swift plants that netted 19 arrests overall, said Richard Rocha, a spokesman with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The 17 workers at other plants were arrested on charges of identity theft for allegedly using stolen identification documents, Rocha said.
Chris Lamb, a human resources worker at the Marshalltown plant, was arrested on charges of bringing in and harboring illegal immigrants and misprision of a felony. If convicted on those charges, Lamb could face up to eight years in prison.
Braulio Pereyra, an official with the union that represents workers at the plant, also was arrested on a charge of bringing in and harboring illegal immigrants.
Simply sending illegal immigrants home and trying to recapture them when they return is not an effective policy. Those in positions of authority at companies that employ illegal immigrants should face prison time when they knowingly break the law.