Skip to comments.15 illegal aliens arrested at BP
Posted on 12/11/2008 2:35:27 PM PST by AuntB
WHITING -- Immigration officials arrested 15 members of a cleaning crew at the BP refinery in an ongoing investigation of illegal workers at an Illinois janitorial services company.
The workers were employees of United Building Maintenance Inc., a Carol Stream, Ill., company, that was hired for janitorial services at the plant, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said.
The Web site for UBM states the company is "the largest Hispanic owned and operated facility maintenance company in the Midwest." Two UBM employees, Herminia Najera-Flores and Ramon Aviles-Cano, were arrested earlier this year and have pleaded guilty to criminal charges in federal court.
Authorities began investigating after receiving a tip that undocumented workers were employed by UBM and had access to sensitive areas of the plant, which is considered "critical infrastructure" by Homeland Security officials.
BP officials, cooperating with ICE investigators, determined early on that the workers posed no security threat, BP spokesman Scott Dean said.
"There is a serious public safety concern when illegal aliens, who are not authorized to work in the country legally, are working in secure areas of one of our nation's largest oil refineries," said Gary Hartwig, special agent-in-charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Chicago in a news release.
"While there is no reason to believe that these individuals had ill intent against our country, their illegal status represents a significant vulnerability in our national security."
The workers, 14 Mexicans and one Guatemalan, were placed under "administrative arrest" in Chicago and will be held pending deportation preceedings, ICE?spokeswoman Gail Montenegro said. Those who are parents of young children or sole caregivers may be released while their cases move forward, Montenegro said.
ICE officials are reviewing each case and may file criminal charges.
Rev. Steve Gibson of St. Mary Church in East Chicago, a predominantly Latino parish just south of the BP refinery on Indianapolis Boulevard, said several parishioners were among those arrested. None had returned home as of Wednesday evening, he said. There were 11 women among those arrested and nearly all had young children, Gibson said.
"I?had to arrange for the children to be picked up from school today,"?Gibson said. "With the number of immigrants in this area, you go two weeks before Christmas and pick up a bunch of young mothers?
"If they were investigating this for two years, then arbitrariness of the timing of these arrests is just stunning."
Z. James Prokulewicz, vice president of UBM, declined comment Wednesday, but said company officials believed all 15 workers were legal residents.
"We're all sitting here scratching our heads about all this,"?Prokulewicz said.
Dean said BP officials will have a "difficult conversation" with UBM?managers today.
"BP prides itself on being a diverse employer, we often look for minority contractors and businesses to do business with,"?Dean said.
During fiscal year 2008, ICE made 5,173 administrative immigration arrests at work sites nationally. In addition, 1,101 criminal arrests were made in connection with work site investigations.
.....just jobs Americans don't want......?????
bump and ping
A very dangerous game we play will illegals.
alright alright...we should go after employers who hire illegals.
Maybe in the future they will look for the most qualified/competitive contractors rather than the illegal ones.. AKA sub minimum wage.
I can tell you that Carol Stream and Glendale Heights (right next door) have huge hispanic populations. Just drive down North Avenue (Hwy 64) and at least half of the vehicles you see will be occupied by hispanics, many of those cars exhibiting Mexican flags or decals or stickers. I venture to say that most of America does not realize the extent of the hispanic population of the Chicago area, a huge number of whom are illegal.
Can you say REAL BIG BOOM??? I suspect this is going on around the country. The bad guys can enter through Meddico and get jobs just like illegal Mexicans and move into jobs of some responsibility where they are in sensitive jobs handling gas, oil, explosives, etc., and BOOM!!! Our wonderful president-select notwithstanding, we are going to get hit again. We simply are biding our time till the next time. Al Quida can wait a while. They are in no hurry. We are not going any where and the new socialist government will turn a blind eye to our protection. Then, BOOM!!!
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